High-voltage direct current converter stations to bring renewable hydropower from Central Asia to load centers in Pakistan
The CASA-1000 Power Transmission Project countries, through the project’s Inter-Governmental Council (IGC), are pleased to announce the placement of an order of around US$330 million to ABB of Sweden and Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios of Spain to build two high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations in Tajikistan and Pakistan. These converter stations will enable the efficient transmission of renewable hydropower from generation sites in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to consumption centers in Pakistan via Afghanistan through the CASA-1000 electric power transmission system. These contracts are the largest component of the $1.2 billion CASA system. Line routing activities began on three of the eight transmission line corridors that comprise the CASA-1000 system earlier this year,
The CASA-1000 Project will have initial capacity to transmit 1,300 megawatts of electricity through its 800 km – long HVDC transmission line in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and 500 km of interconnecting High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) transmission lines in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. The overhead lines in CASA-1000 have been designed with capacity to almost double the power transmitted.
The CASA-1000 Project supports a Pakistan government strategy to manage an increasing demand for electricity, and will also allow the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to better utilize their hydropower generation, with Tajikistan ranking eighth in the world for hydropower potential. The two countries have excess supply during the warm summer months, which cannot be utilized locally, while Pakistan has an increasing demand for electricity to support its growing economy. CASA-1000 further demonstrates Afghanistan’s role as an important energy transit country. This new, mutually beneficial transmission infrastructure will help create an economic and political bond between these neighboring countries and represents one of the first substantial economic ties between Central Asia and South Asia.
Signing of the contracts took place under the authority of the CASA IGC in the presence of Energy Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other representatives of the National Transmission Companies of the four CASA countries, as well as representatives of the International Financial Institutions providing the project’s financing.
Financing is being provided by a consortium of international organizations, including the World Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, USAID, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and UK Department for International Development. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has advised the CASA countries and supported the IGC in structuring and competitively tendering the HVDC converter station tender package. The CASA Secretariat is provided under the Energy Links initiative by Ecodit LLC under contract to USAID.
CASA-1000 aims to facilitate electricity trade between the countries of Central Asia and South Asia by putting in place the commercial and institutional arrangements and the transmission infrastructure required for this trade. The four countries participating in the project are Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan.