The first power station to generate electricity from natural gas was commissioned in the province of JawzJan in northern Afghanistan, the Afghan Voice Agency reported, citing a statement by the IRA Ministry of Mines and Oil. The gas power plant has a capacity of 40 MW.
Afghan electricity company BRESHNA announced that the first natural gas-fired power plant in the Sheberghan province was built with the participation of Bayat Power Investment Company. The Bayat power plant will initially serve the JawzJan, Sar-e-Pul, and Faryab districts of Afghanistan through its electricity grid.
Now, power industry is at the leading position in Afghanistan where the industrialization process is just started. Currently, it imports about 70 percent of electricity from Turkmenistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
In one of articles related to the economy of Afghanistan, the Sputnik agency quoted Dmitry Verkhoturov, a political scientist, orientalist: “Back in 2014, the curious fact was noticed. When Afghanistan started import of electricity from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, built power lines network and carried out the initial electrification in a number of provinces, it made possible to supervise several dozen districts that were previously controlled by the Taliban movement. The explanation was very simple. Previously, portable diesel generators generated electricity, it was very expensive, and the Taliban controlled the supply of diesel fuel. Energy from power lines has become several times cheaper, which created the preconditions for economic growth and increased government support.”
At present time, Turkmen electricity is supplied through transmission lines to Herat, Andhoy and Badkhyz provinces. In order to increase the volume of deliveries, a 450 km power line was put into operation from the Mary hydroelectric station to the city of Kerki and further to the border with Afghanistan. In addition, in Kerki, large 500/220/110/35/10 kV substations were built and commissioned. This infrastructure will allow to distribue of more than 1000 MW of electricity annually.
In September 2018, a combined cycle power plant was put into operation at the Mary State Electric Station (MaryGres). The commissioning of this plant will help increase the electricity exports to Afghanistan and cover the expected commitments to Pakistan under TAP (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan electricity transmission network).
Currently, construction of a 500 kV transmission line from the border of Turkmenistan to the Afghan city of Andkhoy, and then to Sheberghan, is underway in Afghanistan. Two power lines are under construction from Sheberghan: one is a 220 kV to Mazar-i-Sharif, while the second – a 500 kV to the city of Puli-Khumri and further to Kabul. In addition to the construction of substations along the power line, works to create and expand regional distribution grid along the route are underway.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan power transmission line would support to create the infrastructure for trading electricity between the three countries and would supply electricity from Turkmenistan to the Afghan cities of Herat, Kandahar and Spin-Boldak, and then for its export to Pakistan’s cities of Chaman and Quetta.
Let us note, according to experts from the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan is currently experiencing a shortage of electricity of 6,000 MW, while Afghanistan is expected to witness additional demand of 3,500 MW by 2032.