USTDA to Fund Analysis of Possible Electricity Export to Afghanistan and Pakistan
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – Expanding and integrating regional power infrastructure in Central and South Asia are the objectives of the ongoing Electricity Beyond Borders Forum at The Conrad Hotel. The Forum, sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), is taking place as part of the agency’s Central Asian Infrastructure Integration Initiative.
“The impact of the development of power infrastructure in Central and South Asia can be multiplied if countries coordinate their activities to help meet each other’s needs,” said USTDA Deputy Director Leocadia I. Zak in remarks at today’s opening plenary. “Such cooperation can also serve as a catalyst for the region’s overall economic growth.”
The goal of the Central Asia Infrastructure Integration Initiative is to facilitate the establishment of needed infrastructure to foster regional cooperation and economic development though trade. The U.S. government’s commitment to this goal was announced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to the region last fall. In particular, the Initiative targets activities in the areas of energy, transportation, and communications that promote cooperation among the countries and their integration into the global economy.
The Forum supports the U.S. foreign policy objective of assisting Central Asian nations in exporting their electricity surpluses to Afghanistan and Pakistan, which have significant power deficits. The event includes presentations highlighting success stories and best practices in the development of power projects. Featured projects at the Forum include major generation and transmission infrastructure expansion plans in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
The conference is being held in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and features major near-term public infrastructure projects in the region valued at more than $8 billion. The event has attracted more than 100 public and private sector participants from the United States and Central and South Asia.
During today’s program, USTDA awarded an $800,000 grant to the Ministry of Energy of Tajikistan. The grant will fund early investment analysis in determining the viability of plans to develop electric power transmission and generation in Central Asia. Specifically, the project will evaluate options for Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to export their excess electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
USTDA awarded a grant to the Ministry of Energy of Tajikistan to fund early investment analysis on developing Central Asia’s electric power transmission and generation capacity to export power to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pictured here at the grant signing are (left to right): USTDA Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia Daniel D. Stein; Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A. Boucher; His Excellency Mr. Yerov, Minister of Energy of Tajikistan; USTDA Country Manager Scott Greenip (standing); and His Excellency Mr. Assadullo Ghulomov, Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan.
An agreement conferring the grant was signed by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A. Boucher and His Excellency Mr. Assadullo Ghulomov, Deputy Prime Minister, on behalf of the U.S. and Tajikistan governments, respectively. USTDA Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia Daniel D. Stein and His Excellency Mr. Yerov, Minister of Energy, signed as witnesses to the grant agreement. The Ministry of Energy has selected The AES Corporation of Arlington, Virginia, to perform the USTDA-funded analysis. In addition to the USTDA grant, AES will provide additional resources towards its completion.
In addition to Deputy Director Zak, the other participants in today’s opening plenary session were Assistant Secretary Boucher and Consul General Deborah K. Jones from the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. Senior officials from Central and South Asian energy and foreign affairs ministries, energy regulators, and electrical grid operating companies, representatives from U.S. firms, and officials from U.S. and international financing institutions are participating in the two-day event.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.