Tajikistan has launched the construction of the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA)-1000 cross-border electricity transmission project.
The $1.2bn CASA-1000 project involves the construction of a transmission line for the supply of hydro-electricity from the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This trade is expected to enable full utilization of the untapped hydropower potential in Central Asia, while reducing carbon emissions in the region.
Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon alongside Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Sooronbai Zheenbekov, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has launched the project at a ceremony held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Reuters cited Tajikistan President Imomali Rakhmon said as saying: "This project will allow over 5 billion kilowatt-hours of environmentally clean power to be supplied to Pakistan and Afghanistan from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan annually."
Scheduled to be completed by 2018, the transmission project is backed by funding from the US government and the World Bank. The project also secured financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development earlier.
Radio Pakistan cited Nawaz Sharif as saying during the launch ceremony that the project is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.
Sharif added that the project will reduce energy insufficiency and create jobs, in addition to contributing to regional integration amongst the participating countries.
Image: The CASA-1000 project will facilitate electricity trade between the Central Asian countries and the South Asian countries. Photo: courtesy of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.