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UPDATE - Asian bank approves funding for Afghan small hydro

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$570 million energy sector investment program for Afghanistan that includes funding for mini-hydropower projects in rural areas of two provinces.

The ADB board approved the program November 28, including rehabilitation of distribution systems of Kunduz to Baghlan, constructing a new 220-kilovolt transmission line from Kunduz to Taloqan, rehabilitating gas fields in Sheberghan, and constructing small and mini-hydropower plants in Badakshan and Bamyan provinces.

While the current funding is for short-term investments, ADB said in the medium term, expansion funding is to be allocated to developing Afghanistan's energy security from its own hydropower, coal, and gas resources. It said the private sector would be encouraged to take a larger role.

The small hydro segment of the current program is to provide US$12 million to the Afghanistan electricity authority, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, for the development of the hydro plants in Badakshan and Bamyan. (HNN 11/25/08)

The project is to identify ten potential mini-hydropower plant sites from which a maximum of four sites would be finalized for implementation. Up to four projects would be constructed with an aggregate installed capacity of up to 2 MW. Consultation would be performed on development opportunities with the training of community-based organizations.

ADB said the hydro program proposes up to 5,000 households would be supplied with basic electricity service, while up to 15,000 households would gain indirect benefits from electricity services in their communities.

The bank said consultants are expected to be recruited in February 2009 under ADB guidelines. A total of 267 person-months would be required.

The ADB project officer is Takafumi Kadono, Infrastructure Division, CWRD, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines; (63) 2-6326418; E-mail: tkadono@adb.org.

For information, contact:
o Deputy Minister Shujahuddin Ziaie, Ministry of Energy and Water, Daral Aman Main Road, Kabul, Afghanistan; (93) 700-283979;
o Chief Executive Officer Jalil Shams, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (Afghanistan Electricity Authority), Chamne Huzuri, near Kabul Nendari, Afghanistan; (93) 20-2100394.

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