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  • Dignitaries at the ribbon cutting ceremony on 2 May 2013 at 35/20kV sub-station in Ishkashim, Afghanistan.
    AKDN
Illuminating the roof of the world: Tajikistan exports hydroelectricity to Afghan-Badakhshan

Khorog, Tajikistan, 2 May 2013 – A newly-constructed power transmission line bringing electricity from Tajikistan to Afghanistan was inaugurated today. The PamirEnergy Company, a project company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) – the operator of the hydroelectric power plant – has now begun exporting surplus energy from the cross-border regions of Tajik Ishkashim into Afghan Ishkashim.

The event took place in the presence of the Deputy Governor of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), HE Mr. Aziz Giyoev, the Head of the Energy Department with the Ministry of Energy and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Nurmahmad Kholnazarov, General Consul of the Consulate of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Khorog, Mr. Ghulom Hashim Soe, Head of the Ishkashim District, Afghanistan, Mr. Ahmadmir Jawod, the Norwegian Ambassador to Tajikistan, HE Mr. Ole Bjornoy, along with his senior advisors from the Norwegian Ministry, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Resident Representative, Mr. Akbar Ali Pesnani, a Representative from IPS Asia Mr. Matthew Scanlon, and the General Director of PamirEnergy, Mr. Daler Jumaev, along with other members of the local government.

Funded by the Government of Norway through the Aga Khan Foundation – with a $2.8 million grant to PamirEnergy in 2011– the newly installed power line not only improves electricity supply capacity within Ishkashim-Tajikistan but will also supply electricity to over 800 households, healthcare facilities, schools, and government offices in Sultoni Ishkashim, Afghanistan. In addition to improving the quality of life of residents, the project also represents the first time that any utility company has undertaken a 110 kV line construction across the mountainous regions of Tajik and Afghan Badakhshan. Norwegian support for these initiatives reflect its expertise and experience in energy and its wider support for improved cooperation between Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the cross-border area.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan, the Deptuty Governor of GBAO, HE Mr. Aziz Giyoev, said: “The Government of Tajikistan has always been of assistance to its neighbour, Afghanistan, in different sectors, including energy provision, and will continue to do so while bringing development and prosperity”.

Mr. Ahmadmir Jawod, Head of Ishkashim District, Afghanistan, noted: “We are not just neighbors with Tajikistan, but we have one culture, one language and one tradition, all of which play important parts in our relationship. We are grateful to the Government of Tajikistan, people of Norway and AKDN for their continued support in bringing hope to each of the houses of the Afghan people”.

His Excellency Mr. Ole Bjornoy, the Roving Ambassador of Norway to Tajikistan, began his speech by thanking the governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, AKDN and PamirEnergy, and went on to say that he “looks forward to the continued cooperation with the AKDN”. He further stated that the government of Norway remains committed to Afghanistan in the civilian context in the years to come.

The AKDN Resident Representative, Mr. Akbar Ali Pesnani, also thanked both the governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan for their facilitation in assisting PamirEnergy with the development of the power line. He also thanked the Norwegian Government for their financial support, and expressed his gratitude to the the community of Ishkahsim for their support and collaboration in allowing the project to be undertaken.

The Ishkashim line is not the first such line built by PamirEnergy. In 2008, it successfully opened its first transmission line between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It was able to export surplus power in the summer months from Tajikistan to Shugnan, Afghanistan. To date, 2,350 households (18,864 people) in the Afghan districts of Shugnan, Ishkashim and Nusai have received low-cost electricity 24 hours a day. At the same time, the quality and reliability of electricity in GBAO has also been improved through these investments. Through investments in cross-border transmission lines and small scale hydropower plants, AKFED and its partners hope to increase regional economic activity, facilitate the development of small-scale commercial enterprises, help promote energy cooperation, and significantly increase the quality of life in the region while at the same time reducing dependence on fuel and biomass for energy needs.

For additional information please contact:

Latofat Zuhurova,
Aga Khan Development Network,
Office of the Resident Representative,
Email: latofat.zuhurova@akdn.org
Telephone: +992 93 505 5786

Daler Jumaev,
General Director,
Pamir Energy Company,
Email: daler.jumaev@pamirenergy.com
Telephone: +922 3522 2 3383

NOTES

PamirEnergy was established in 2002 in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, and the Governments of Switzerland and Tajikistan. More than US$ 39 million was invested in rebuilding an outdated Soviet hydroelectric power plant in an attempt to provide electricity to some of the most isolated regions of the country. This successful Public-Private Partnership led to the establishment of the PamirEnergy Company, a project of the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. Today, PamirEnergy provides electricity to more than 92 percent of the inhabitants of the Gorno-Badakshan region, some of whom reside in the least accessible and remote locales of the world.

The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of institutions working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world. The Network's institutions have mandates that range from the fields of health and education to rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise. The three main areas of activity in the Network are social development, economic development, and culture.