HomeAsiaEurasiaPakistan commends World Bank's decision to resume CASA-1000 in Afghanistan

Pakistan commends World Bank’s decision to resume CASA-1000 in Afghanistan

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Islamabad, 3 March 2024 (TDI): On Friday, Pakistan commended the World Bank’s decision to resume CASA-1000 activities in Afghanistan. This announcement by the World Bank signifies an important move forward in the region’s pledge to foster energy collaboration.

The World Bank recently announced to resume of the Central Asia-South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (“CASA-1000”) in Afghanistan. This decision comes after all three neighboring countries participating in the project requested its revival in December.

According to the statement released, the Government of Pakistan is pleased to announce its joining of the other neighboring countries. It will execute a Joint Declaration along with the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan.

This declaration expresses gratitude to the World Bank for promptly accepting the “ring-fenced” restart of construction in Afghanistan.

Additionally, Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to and full backing of the World Bank in implementing the parameters agreed with its Board for the resumption of CASA-1000 construction.

CASA-1000 Project

CASA-1000 is a 1.2 billion-dollar regional project that will provide clean energy from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan into Pakistan through Afghanistan.

With the help of new energy infrastructure, the ambitious CASA-1000 project will transport 1,300 megawatts of excess electricity from Central Asia to South Asian electrical markets with significant demand. This project benefits all of the regions.

This international, multi-donor infrastructure project improves Central and South Asia’s access to renewable energy sources, providing significant advantages to the region’s power grids and individual electricity users.

CASA-1000 project map
CASA-1000 project map

The stakeholders approved the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contracts for the CASA-1000 project. In 2017, the initial three agreements for the construction of CASA-1000 facilities were finalized.

Following that, seven contracts have been granted, signed, and activated, with fieldwork beginning on all 10 contracts by April 2021.

Last month, the World Bank, a key financer of CASA-1000, approved resuming the clean energy project. It had stalled in 2022 due to turmoil in Afghanistan, prompting the Bank to focus on urgently needed education, agriculture, and health programs.

Solution to Pakistan’s energy shortage

Pakistan started to suffer serious electricity shortages in the early 2000s as a result of increased industrialization, urbanization, and economic expansion.

Pakistan’s need for energy is immense as a developing economy, with rising electricity consumption directly associated with the country’s rapid GDP growth. Per capita annual electricity consumption in Pakistan increased from 362 kWh in 2000 to 516 kWh in 2020.

Also Read: Central and South Asia connectivity conundrum

To fulfill rising electricity demand, Pakistan needs affordable renewable energy that can support economic growth, stimulate infrastructural development, and attract international investment.

Pakistan’s electricity demand peaks between May and September (mostly to meet the country’s cooling needs). The Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan generate surplus hydropower at the same time, making CASA-1000 a realistic option for meeting Pakistan’s expanding electricity demand.

Once completed, Pakistan would be able to import up to 1,300 MW of power through the Nowshera converter station. By developing this cross-border electrical trade, CASA-1000 contributes to Pakistan’s increasing power needs, boosting regional trade and promoting regional autonomy.

Maha Afzal Chaudhary
Maha Afzal Chaudhary
Maha Afzal Chaudhary is an undergraduate student pursuing a BS in International Relations from the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Pakistan. She has a keen interest in analyzing global dynamics while deconstructing the underlying facts and unraveling the intricacies of international politics. Her areas of focus encompass state security-related matters and preferential economic interests. Her concerned sphere also comprises foreign policy-making processes of states.

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