Islamabad: The World bank has stated on its website that Commercial operation of CASA-1000 (Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity and Trade Project) is expected to start by the summer of 2021. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2019.
CASA-1000 is part of a broader effort to develop a cross boarder energy market to establish trade transport and energy links. The World Bank is in the process of financing 4 countries for the installation of transmission infrastructure which will cater for the ever increasing demands of Pakistan and Afghanistan by transferring surplus summer power from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. It is the first step towards creating the Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM).
“Countries in Central Asia are unique geographically and have plenty of natural resources, but they have much to gain from economic connections with other regions,” said Husam Beides, WB Lead Energy Specialist. “We expect that construction activities in the four CASA countries could start in early 2019 and commercial operation may be expected in late summer 2021”.
The Swiss company ABB together with its consortium partner Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios Spain has been awarded the contract to design, build, and provide operation and maintenance support for two High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power converter stations. The HDVC converter stations will enable the trade of 1300MW of clean electricity between the regions.
“The World Bank is happy to see the strong commitment of countries from Central Asia and South Asia to address their energy challenges together,” said Lilia Burunciuc, WB Regional Director for Central Asia. “CASA 1000 is a key part of the broader effort to develop a regional electricity market linking Central Asia with the broader region and is also promoting energy security and economic development in the four countries part of the project.”
WB is financing this project with the Islamic Development Bank, USAID, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and UK Department for International Development. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is helping attract private players by providing public-private partnerships (PPPs) for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts for vital transmission infrastructure.