A World Bank-led project, CASA-1000 is a transnational project that hopes to address the energy needs of South Asia by directing some of the energy resources from Central Asia, which is endowed with some of the world’s most abundant clean hydro-power cascades, through Afghanistan. Lacking access to sea, Central Asia has no option but to get linked to neighboring states. Owed to its strategic location, Afghanistan is the only possible route option for the CASA-1000 Project. It offers the most direct route for transfer of energy from the Kyrgyzstan Republic and Tajikistan to the energy-hungry Pakistan. Bypassing Afghanistan would add strenuous cost to the project that could make it prohibitive.
The project involves transferring 1000 Megawatts of electricity to Pakistan through Afghanistan and 300 Megawatts of electricity to Afghanistan. In addition to receiving the 300 Megawatts of electricity, Afghanistan will generate revenue from the transit fee–a tax levied on energy that passes through the country. Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed on 1.25 cents per kilowatt for the transit fee on the transfer of electricity between the Kyrgyzstan Republic, Tajikistan and Pakistan through Afghanistan in October 2014. This was one of the first foreign policy achievements of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Afghanistan led by President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah. This deal will bring over USD 45mn in revenue to the Afghan government. Afghanistan could use the additional 300 megawatts of electricity to meet its domestic needs.
Erection and construction works on the transmission line from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan is expected to start in May 2016.
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