500kV Power Project Commission Proposes Salang Route

zaki-24-may-16

The commission tasked by President Ashraf Ghani to review the controversial 500kV power line project on Tuesday evening delivered its findings and recommended the line run through Salang as originally planned.

According to the commission, after reviewing all documents pertaining to the project they found that due to the progress already made and the need to avoid funding of the project from being stopped, the line should be routed through Salang to Kabul.

However, the commission also proposed that a 220kV double circuit station with a capacity of 300 megawatts of power should be routed to Bamiyan province and to central parts of Afghanistan through Doshe district of Baghlan this year.

In addition they said an electricity distribution network for 20,000 families in Bamiyan must be created.

On the basis of the commission’s findings the Salang route is 100km shorter than the Bamiyan route and there is a lack of budget for the 500kV power line to be taken through Bamiyan.

They also stated that the Salang route is safer compared to the Bamiyan route.

“DABS supported the change in the route of the 500 kilovolt electricity line due to lack of funds … and due to the immediate need for electricity in the capital and it was proved that DABS had a political motive,” said Fizullah Zaki a commission member.

After the commission announced its finds Ghani announced government’s decree regarding the implementation findings.

“In order to maintain the country’s national interests, secure national unity and stability of Afghanistan, 220 kV double-circuit transmission line project with a capacity of 300 MW (will go) through Doshe in Baghlan to central parts, which has the ability to supply power to all the central province, must be implemented as follows: Construction of 220 kV double-circuit transmission network with a capacity of 300 MW from the Doshe area to the center of Bamiyan,” said Ghani’s deputy spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi.

The National Unity Government (NUG) also announced that due to the progress in the implementation of this project and in order to avoid funding being stopped the suspension of the project has been lifted.

“Based on findings of the national commission regarding the procurement process related papers, to prevent financial aid being cut to the project, procurement process of the project is being resumed,” Hashemi added.

The presidential decree tasked the commission with the job of presenting a plan to cabinet within six months on the implementation of the project to the center and then to the south of the country.

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