DUSHANBE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that Pakistan needs energy for its socio-economic development while reiterating commitment of Pakistan for early implementation of CASA-1000 project.
Addressing the Quadrilateral Session of CASA-1000 conference in Dushanbe, the premier expressed satisfaction that some of the world’s leading manufacturers have demonstrated their keen interest to provide Converter Stations for CASA-1000.
The conference was also attended by President of the host country, President of Afghanistan, and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan.
The prime minister, who is on his two-day visit to Tajikistan, said the project would help generate employment opportunities and uplift living standards of Pakistani people. He pointed out that tenders for transmission lines from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan and from Tajikistan to Afghanistan have been floated and are currently being evaluated.
The Prime Minister hoped that the work on the project would begin very soon.
He described CASA-1000 as flagship project in the region connecting Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia through an electricity grid.
He said on its completion, Pakistan will get 1,000 MW and Afghanistan 300 MW electricity in summer time, from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
“This project will help bring a number of economic, social and environmental benefits to member countries. It will reduce the energy deficit, create jobs, improve trade and reduce carbon dioxide emissions thanks to the supply of clean energy. It will also contribute to regional integration,” the premier said.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held an informal meeting in Dushanbe. However, both leaders will hold one on one meeting later on Thursday.
A trilateral meeting of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan will also be held to discuss regional security and other issues of mutual understanding.
The CASA-1000 is a $1.16 billion project currently under construction that will allow for the export of surplus hydroelectricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Groundbreaking for the project took place on May 12, 2016 in Tajikistan in a ceremony attended by the Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Pakistani Prime Ministers, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.