The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

CASA-1000 powering regional cooperation and development

By: Hashmat Nasiri

The Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project, commonly known as CASA-1000, is a landmark initiative aimed at fostering regional connectivity and energy cooperation among four countries: the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This ambitious project seeks to harness the hydropower potential of Central Asia and address the energy deficits in South Asia, thereby fostering economic development and stability in the region. The idea of CASA-1000 emerged as a response to the energy challenges faced by the participating countries. Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan boast abundant hydropower resources, particularly during the summer months when glacial melt and rainfall increase water flow in rivers. However, these countries lack the infrastructure to fully uti lize and export this surplus energy. On the other hand, Afghanistan and Pakistan face persistent energy shortages, leading to frequent power outages and hindering industrial growth and social development. The primary goal of CASA-1000 is to facilitate the export of surplus electricity from the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. This not only helps the exporting countries monetize their hydropower resources but also provides much-needed electricity to the importing nations. By establishing a cross-border electricity transmission network, CASA-1000 promotes regional integration and cooperation. It fosters economic ties and lays the foundation for future collaborations in areas beyond energy, such as trade and infrastructure development. CASA-1000 involves the construction of high-voltage transmission lines spanning approximately 750 kilometers from Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. These lines have the capacity to transmit up to 1,300 megawatts of electricity. Interconnection points are established at the borders between participating countries to facilitate the seamless transfer of electricity. They serve as hubs for monitoring and managing the flow of power across the network. CASA-1000 exemplifies the power of collaborative efforts in addressing common challenges and unlocking shared benefits. By leveraging clean hydropower resources and building cross-border infrastructure, the project not only meets energy demand but also fosters sustainable development and peace in the region. As construction progresses and partnerships deepen, CASA1000 stands as a beacon of hope for a brighter, interconnected future in Central and South Asia. The CASA-1000 project offers several significant benefits for Afghanistan: 1.Increased Energy Supply: Afghanistan has long struggled with energy shortages, leading to frequent power outages that affect businesses, industries, and households. CASA-1000 will provide Afghanistan with an additional and reliable source of electricity, helping to bridge the gap between supply and demand. 2.Economic Growth: A reliable energy supply is crucial for economic development. With CASA-1000, Afghanistan can attract more investment in industries that require consistent electricity, such as manufacturing, agriculture, and services. This, in turn, can create jobs, boost productivity, and stimulate economic growth. 3.Improved Living Standards: Access to electricity enhances the quality of life for Afghan citizens. It enables households to power essential appliances like lights, refrigerators, and fans, improving comfort, health, and overall wellbeing. Schools, hospitals, and other public institutions also benefit from uninterrupted power supply, supporting education, healthcare, and public services. 4.Integration into Regional Energy Markets: Participating in CASA-1000 integrates Afghanistan into a regional energy market, fostering cooperation with neighboring countries. This not only strengthens diplomatic ties but also opens opportunities for future energy projects, trade agreements, and infrastructure development, which can further benefit Afghanistan’s economy and energy security. 5.Peace and Stability: Access to reliable electricity is vital for social stability and peace-building efforts. Improved living conditions, economic opportunities, and infrastructure development facilitated by CASA-1000 can contribute to long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan by addressing key socio-economic challenges and promoting prosperity. Overall, CASA-1000 represents a transformative opportunity for Afghanistan, offering a pathway to sustainable development, improved living standards, economic growth, and enhanced regional cooperation in the energy sector.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.