Tajikistan plans to increase electricity supplies to neighbouring countries, particularly Afghanistan, by building high-voltage power lines. This project underlines the Tajik Government’s plan to transform the country into an energetic hub in a strategic region such as Central Asia.
As local sources reported on the Tajik energy sector, in 2021 the beginning of the construction of a 500-kilovolt transmission line from the Rogun Hydropower Plant to the Sangtuda converter substation will increase the possibilities of exporting electricity.
Currently, the post-Soviet republic of Tajikistan has 13 power transmission lines of various voltages with neighbouring countries with a total capacity of 4,570 MegaWatt (3,500 MegaWatt between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, 500 MegaWatt between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and 570 MegaWatt between Tajikistan and Afghanistan).
Last year, the country produced more than 19.7 billion kWh of electricity, which is 4.3% less than in the same period of 2019. In term of energy supplies to neighbouring countries, Tajikistan earned more than 56.4 million dollars even though the number of electricity exports decreased by more than 39.4%.
On the one hand, official data didn’t report the volume of electricity supplies to neighbouring countries. On the other hand, public institutions and local media highlighted the fact that electricity was supplied to Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Among the Tajik targets in the energy exports, there is the near Afghanistan which in the previous years has received about 1.2-1.3 billion kWh thanks to the 220 kV Sangtuda-1 – Puli Khumri transmission power line and the 110 kV Geran-Kunduz power line.
Why this matters? Because according to the Central Asia-South Asia Power Project, commonly known as CASA-1000, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will export their surplus hydroelectricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan. CASA-1000 is a 1.16 billion dollars project (it is expected to be completed in 2023) which might change the regional geopolitical balance. In fact, thanks to the energy exports revenues, Tajikistan (and Kyrgyzstan) will be able to support the national socio-economic development and become less dependent from foreign aids. Being the Central Asian republic with the highest potentiality in hydroelectric power generation, if the Tajik Government will attract the necessary amount of investments for the development of its energy sector, the country might become a significant energy hub and geopolitical actor in Central Asia.