ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms was informed here on Monday that the 1300 MW CASA-1000 Transmission project is expected to be completed by end 2020.

An official of Ministry of Water and Power informed the committee that the bidding process for convertor stations and transmission lines had been completed as five bids from leading manufacturers including ABB, Siemens, Alstom and State Grid of China were received from convertor stations and evaluation of these bids were under evaluation process.

Similarly bids for 475 km long 500 KV AC transmission line from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan (Sangtuda), 117 km long 500 kv Bi- polar HVDC transmission line from Tajikistan to Afghanistan, 580 km long 500 kv Bi-polar HVDC transmission line within Afghanistan and for 80 km long 500 kv Bi-polar HVDC transmission line from Afghanistan border to Nowshera had also been received and were being evaluated by the concerned consultants.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and was attended by Senators Saud Majeed, Karim Ahmed Khawaja, Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi, Sherry Rehman, Secretary Planning Shoaib Siddiqui and other officials from the ministry.

The CASA-1000 transmission project envisages the transportation of surplus electric power available in summer months (May 1 to September 30) from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The project will comprise the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of a 750 km high voltage direct current transmission system between Tajikistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan together associated converter stations at Sangtuda and Nowshera.

The meeting was informed that World Bank and Islamic Development Bank has committed to provide funding for Pakistani portion of the project worth $120 million and $35 million respectively.

In addition, the two donors had also assured to fill the gap in case, the prices of the project are higher than expected.

Regarding tariff of the project, the committee was informed that the tariff components of CASA-1000 project consist of payback of investment costs to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan, cost of energy payable to the sellers and to be paid to Afghanistan.

The estimated transmission tariff is 2.98 cents per kwh while the energy tariff is 5.15 cents per kwh. Similarly Tajik wheeling charges is 0.10 cents per kwh and the total tariff would be 9.48 cents kwh.

Senator Sherry Rehman showed concerns on security issues in Afghanistan and urged that the government should get assurance from the World Bank regarding the security issues in Afghanistan.

The meeting was also briefed on the current status of the project of revival of Karachi Circular Railway.

The meeting was informed that the project was initially to be completed with the assistance of Japanese Agency JICA, however due to its long schedule, the government decided to include this project in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

It was told that the PC-1 of the project had been approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) while after finalizing the design of the project it would be sent to Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) for approval.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017