KHOROG, June 12, Asia-Plus /Shonavruz Afzlashoyev/ — The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) yesterday officially opened a cross-border power transmission line connecting Khorog, the capital of Gorno Badakhshan with the Shugnan district in Afghan Badakhshan. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended Mr. Munir M. Merali, Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tajikistan, Mr. Amonullo Ashour, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mr. Poulod Muhiddinov, First Deputy Minister of Energy and Industries, Mr. Said Muhammad Khairkhoh, Afghan Ambassador to Tajikistan, Mr. Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan, and Mr. Daler Jumayev, General Manager of Pamir Energy Company (PamirEnergy).
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Poulod Muhiddinov noted that those power-transmission lines (the first of them is a 4.8-kilometer 10kV line and the second one is a 12-kilometer 0.4kV line) will enable the GBAO electric systems to share their surplus electricity with Afghanistan in the summer months. 362 households, a local hospital and international training center, the main government building and several international organizations in Afghan Shugnan will get benefit from this project. According to him, it is the first step on the way of expansion of energy cooperation between the regions of the two countries. With construction of the Pamir-2 hydropower plant in the Sanobod area in GBAO’s Rushan district this cooperation will expand. The deputy minister added that a grant had already been allocated for conducting feasibility for construction of the Pamir-2 station that will have capacity of 60,000 kW. Afghan Ambassador to Tajikistan, Mr. Said Muhammad Khairkhoh,
expressed gratitude for construction of the transmission line and noted that electricity supply along with cross-border trade will pave the way for further expansion of mutually beneficial many-sided cooperation between the two countries. The PamirEnergy General Manager Daler Jumayev said that two other villages in Afghan Shugnan will be connected within the next few days to the transmission lines, which are currently provided with electricity Barpanja Qala and Senur in Afghan Shugnan. According to him, the project will allow PamirEnergy to supply up to 10,000 kWh of surplus electrical power to the neighboring country during summer months. Five Afghans have been trained to maintain the transmission line and transformers as well a serve PamirEnergy’s customers. In partnership with the Governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is engaging in a number of similar initiatives in social and economic development intended to increase
inter-connectivity and foster better mutual understanding across borders. The ultimate aim of these endeavors is to encourage economic growth and trade, reduce poverty, and enhance the region’s stability. AKFED, an institution of the AKDN, was a primary supporter of the project. The construction was implemented by PamirEnergy, established in 2002 by AKFED and its partners, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank, to help meet electricity needs in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO). Following completion of PamirEnergy’s original investment program in 2005, approximately 90 percent of the inhabitants of GBAO are able to access a reliable supply of electricity. Roshan, a company also established by AKFED and a leader in Afghanistan’s mobile market, contributed $169,000 towards the project cost as part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility.