Energy is Life: Bringing Power to Afghanistan

Description

For nearly three decades, the availability of secure energy supplies in Afghanistan was significantly disrupted by conflict. Much of the country’s power generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure was destroyed, and what remained was stretched far beyond capacity. More than 90% of the population had no access to electricity.

In January 2009, electricity began to flow into Kabul along a newly constructed transmission line running from neighboring Uzbekistan. For the first time in more than a generation, the majority of the capital’s 4 million people can now enjoy the benefits of power.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has played a key role in the rehabilitation and construction of various components of NEPS, directly financing the transmission line from Pul-e-Khumri, north of Kabul, to the border with Uzbekistan through $40 million in concessional Asian Development Fund loans. Another $56.5 million in ADB financing will help build new transmission lines linking Afghanistan and Tajikistan, further increasing power supply to the NEPS. An additional $50 million loan and grant assistance package will help connect 1.2 million people in rural Afghanistan to the NEPS network.

Helping bring electricity to the population is a key component of ADB’s strategy to support Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. With the November 2008 approval by ADB’s Board of Directors of a $570 million energy sector multitranche financing facility, the energy sector has become the largest component of ADB’s overall Afghanistan portfolio.