The smart use of mother nature is the objective of the CASA-1000 Project.
All of the necessary power generation infrastructure needed for CASA-1000 is already in place. In fact, much of the surplus electricity available to CASA-1000 being generated with water that simply would have been spilled for lack of an outlet for the power. When complete, the full CASA-1000 transmission lines will move electricity at high voltages between the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan (the first 477 kilometers) and from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan (the next 750 kilometers). Even without adding any new power generation to the system, sufficient quantities of surplus electricity are available in the Central Asian countries to supply these transmission lines.
This project demonstrates landmark cooperation among the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The modern and efficient CASA-1000 electricity transmission system will help transform the region and signify an important step toward realizing the planned Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM). The CASAREM initiative will help not only these four countries, but also improve the electricity systems and develop inter-regional cooperation between Central Asia and South Asia.
The CASA-1000 Project is ambitious but achievable. When compared with the 340,000-kilometer North American grid or the 230,000-kilometer European power system, the 1,222-kilometer CASA-1000 transmission project seems quite achievable but it will take time, long-term planning, and cooperation.
A high level Inter-Governmental Council has been established to help make CASA-1000 happen and regional cooperation in the first phases of the project has been excellent. Through the Inter-Governmental Council, the countries are working together to make decisions about project implementation and operation, common policies and rules, and use consistent technical, safety, and environmental standards. They are also planning consultations with the public and a wide-ranging community benefit-sharing plan.
The CASA-1000 project will include:
• 500 kV AC line from Datka (in the Kyrgyz Republic) to Sugd-500 (477 kilometers away, in Tajikistan)
• 1300 megawatt AC-DC Convertor Station at Sangtuda (Tajikistan)
• 750 kilometer High Voltage DC line from Sangtuda (Tajikistan) to Nowshera (Pakistan)
• 1300 megawatt DC-AC Convertor Station at Nowshera
Developing a strong economy with good jobs, modern infrastructure, proper social services, and inclusive growth requires a functioning electricity system. The CASA-1000 Project is an important step in building a functioning, efficient electricity system across Central Asia and South Asia. By facilitating clean power export revenues for the Central Asian countries and by alleviating electricity shortages in the South Asian countries, this project will enhance growth prospects across both regions.
Realizing CASA-1000 will require strategic actions and a long-term vision, private sector and government participation, and the support of many partners. Ultimately, the realization of this ambitious project will deliver reliable, affordable electricity to parts of the world that desperately need it—in summer and winter. It will prompt inter-regional cooperation, investments in social services, andencourage community benefit-sharing. Most importantly, it will strengthen the economic and political development of the region.
The Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have put an important framework in place for making CASA-1000 a reality—the Inter-Governmental Council. In addition to the commitment of these four countries, CASA-1000 has the support of the World Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), US State Department, United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and other donor communities.