Iran seeks to renovate Afghanistan’s war-ravaged infrastructure

After Iraq, Iran is setting eyes on reconstructing Afghanistan’s war-ravaged infrastructure. Iran’s shuttle diplomacy is active now. Iranian and Afghani delegations are meeting quite regularly to coordinate efforts.

21 August 2019
ID : 22173
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Afghanistan has invited private companies in Iran’s power sector to help his war-ravaged country rebuild its electricity infrastructure.

“Afghanistan is interested in using the experience of Iranian companies in expanding its power infrastructure. Barely 40% of Afghans have access to electricity,” Mohammad Gul Khulmi, who met with Iran’s deputy energy minister, Homayoun Haeri in Kabul at the weekend, was quoted as saying, Financial Tribune reports. 

Afghanistan is in dire need of electricity and the need is growing, Gul Khulmi stressed.

After four decades of conflict, Afghanistan’s power sector is slowly recovering, but still a large part of the population does not have access to the grid. Even those connected to the network suffer from frequent blackouts, sometimes up to 9–15 hours a day, which impacts residential and commercial users and severely hampers economic growth.

According to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), the national electricity utility, Afghanistan’s installed generation capacity is around 650 megawatts, mainly from hydropower, fossil fuel and solar.

However, as domestic production is insufficient for the 35 million population, Afghanistan imports power from neighbors including Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

According to 2016 statistics, Afghanistan generated 1.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and imported 4.4 billion kWh.

Due to the large influx of Afghan refugees returning home from Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan may require as much as 7,000 MW in the coming years.

However, it needs technical and financial support to do so.

“Renovating old facilities, reconstruction of generators damaged during the war years are among the negotiations with the Iranians,” Gul Khulmi added.

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