KABUL – Afghanistan spends $280 million annually on imported 670 megawatts of power from neighboring countries of Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, according to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat.
“We import power worth $240 to $280 million annually depending on our capacity,” said Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat spokesman Wahidduallah Tawhidi, as local media quoted.
While the Afghan government and DABS vowed to increases power up to 80% for Afghans in both cities and villages, critiques suggested only 35% of the citizens throughout the country has access to electricity.
Meanwhile, head of local industries exclaimed they need more power intake in the capital than of provinces, exclaiming a “few hundred megawatts of power” will be enough for provinces’ needs.
“Kabul has 110 megawatts of power. We (industries) consume 90 megawatts of it but we need a 115 megawatts of power,” said Chamber of Industry and Mines CEO Rahimullah Samandar. “We need a few hundred megawatts of power for provinces. In some provinces, some factories can operate only six hours a day.”
Afghan capital is facing power shortage since July, as Tajikistan cut short its exported electricity to the country due to its own domestic needs.
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar signed a 10-year contract on imported power from Uzbekistan, after visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov in Tashkent Friday.
“Both parties agreed to ink a contract between Da Afghanistan Breshan Sherkat and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan on imported power to Afghanistan,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on a statement.
Meanwhile, Kamilov hoped this “historic” visit strengthen political and economic relation between the two countries, adding he hopes to witness intra-Afghan negotiation on Afghan peace to be held the soonest.