Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Afghanistan figures prominently in key energy projects aimed at regional cooperation and integration: Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan (TUTAP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline are among such schemes. According to ADB, TUTAP used existing and planned assets in Afghanistan to connect Central Asia to Pakistan. Similarly, ADB added, the 1,600-km TAPI pipeline would export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India over a commercial operations period of 30 years. Although currently expected to exceed $10 billion, the total project cost will be determined upon completion of the detailed design and arrangements for the procurement of long-lead items, construction and other services. Pradeep Srivastava, principal economist with ADB's Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division, said that progress continued on the implementation of road and railway projects in Afghanistan along CAREC Corridors 3, 5, and 6 in the area of multimodal transport, the official said. Srivastava also referred to key ongoing road projects, including the construction of Qaisa-Laman road (233 km), Leman-Armalick Road (52 Km), Pul-i-Khumri-Doshi road (52 km), Kabul-Jalalabad road (150 km), and Mazar-i-Sharif-Kunduz road. A concept paper for the construction of an alternative tunnel to the existing Salang tunnel has been approved by ADB, with the World Bank supporting the construction of the Baghlan-Bamiyan road as well as the rehabilitation of the existing Salang road and tunnel. “For the rail sector, a feasibility study for the Rozanak/Ghorian-Herat track has been completed,” he explained. Feasibility studies are ongoing for the Sher Khan Bandar-Kunduz-Kholam-Naibabad-Andkhoi railway line, the AqinaAnkhoy track and Aqina railway station, and the Torghondi-Herat railroad. CAREC recently held its mid-year senior officials' meeting in Islamabad, where respective sector coordinating committees briefed participants on progress in the 4 sectors. During the Energy Sector Coordinating Committee meeting in Islamabad in April this year, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Water and Power Omer Rasul, briefed the officials on CASA-1000.

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