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Tajikistan plans to double electricity supplies to Afghanistan

April 03, 2013, 20:21 UTC+3

In 2012, Tajikistan delivered about 600 million kilowatt-hours due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure and due to some other technical reasons

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DUSHANBE, April 3 (Itar-Tass) - Tajikistan plans to deliver about 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to Afghanistan this year, which is more than 100 percent more than in the previous season, Director General of the republic’s energy monopoly Barki Tojik company Abdullo Yerov said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“The agreement to the effect was achieved between energy companies of Afghanistan and Tajikistan a few days ago,” he said, adding that the two parties signed corresponding document.

In Yerov’s words, “the hike in the electricity generation, which exceeds domestic consumption traditionally in summer, as well as the growth of capacities of the country’s operating hydropower plants, made is possible to raise Tajikistan’s electricity export.”

“The hike in the electricity export to Afghanistan, which is now Tajikistan’s major electricity exporter, will allow the republic to reduce substantially water escapage at the Vakhsh HPPs,” the country’s senior energy expert said.

“In 2012, Tajikistan delivered about 600 million kilowatt-hours due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure and due to some other technical reasons,” Yerov said. This year, Barki Tojik hopes to earn at least 40 million U.S. dollars for the export of electricity, he said, reaffirming that the agreement envisages price at 3.64 cents per kilowatt-hour.

In the mean time, Yerov could say nothing whether or not the company plans to use the funds for the debt payment to its biggest creditors - Sangtuda-1 HPP (built for Russia’s money) and joint Tajikistani-Iranian Sangtuda-2 HPP project. In his words, the total debt for electricity delivered by both HPPs almost reached 100 million U.S. dollars, two-thirds of which should be paid to Russia.

“Our experts worked out an official note, which will be submitted to Prime Minister Akil Akilov. The official note includes an economic analysis, which shows the energy company itself is not able to pay the growing debt,” Yerov said.

In the opinion of expert community, Dushanbe hopes for a partial or full debt rescheduling by the governments of Russia and Iran. Observers point to the fact that no one country voiced an official rejection. However, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s widely-announced visit to Dushanbe on March 20-21, when he planned to attend an official commissioning of the Sangtuda-2 HPP’s second power unit, was unexpectedly postponed “for an indefinite period.”

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