Together, the $216m North-South Power Transmission Enhancement Project and $49.1m 500kV substation at Dashte Alwan Project will build a 500kV transmission line, which will straddle 225km across the Hindukush mountain range from Dashte Alwan to Kabul.

In addition, the projects will complement a separate 500kV substation, which is expected to be built in the north by ADB under its Energy Sector Development Program.

ADB Afghanistan country director Joji Tokeshi said, ”These projects will form part of a broader ADB-backed initiative to help get power to needy areas and allow Afghanistan to become part of an energy resource corridor connecting Central Asia’s power systems with those of South Asia.”

Afghanistan finance minister Omar Zakhilwal said, "We believe that these substantial infrastructure investments will stimulate economic activity, reduce the cost of doing business, improve the environment and cut poverty."

The new power line is expected to add up to 1,000MW to the 300MW capacity 220kV transmission line that connects northern Afghanistan to the south, thereby furthering the country’s objective of increasing its electrification rate.

The lines will also transmit the additional electricity to the south, once domestic power generation projects and connection with neighboring Turkmenistan are complete in the north of the country.

ADB’s assistance will come from its Asian Development Fund ($148.1m), with co-finance of $117m from the ADB-administered Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund including contributions from the US ($104m) and Japan ($13m).

The Afghanistan Government will contribute $7.9m for a total investment cost of $273m for the projects, which are anticipated to complete in December 2016.