Following is the update on implementation progress of 8 subprojects included in Tranche 1:
(i) Kunduz-Taluqan Transmission Line ($29.3 million) Comprises of 70 kms of 220-kV transmission line connecting cities of Kunduz and Taloqan in northern Afghanistan. The contract was awarded in December 2011 to KEC International and project was commissioned and made operational in 2013. The subproject is financially closed.
(ii) Kunduz-Baghlan Distribution Networks ($51.28 million) It comprises commissioning of approximately 41,000 new distribution connections in cities of Kunduz and Baghlan in northern Afghanistan. The turnkey contract is awarded to joint venture (JV) of CNEEC-Maamar International in January 2013 and made effective in June 2013. Since inception, the JV partners had issues related to (i) internal JV agreement and division of project disbursements, and (ii) dismal performance of prime and sub-contractors. Weak supervision by supervision consultant and resolution of issues in time also delayed the fielding of contractors. The situation at project sites has been further accentuated since mid-2015 due insurgent activity and military operation being undertaken by the government. The work is 40% complete. Although as per the revised action plan, the contractor has confirmed that project will be completed by Q3 2017, it is likely that further delays could be encountered if project sites remain insecure.
(iii) NEPS Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Equipment ($14.26 million) The subproject comprised supply of emergency equipment to DABS. Out of 3, 2 lots were awarded in May 2014 after successive rounds of rebidding. Lot 3 was advertized twice but failed to solicit technical bidders. Therefore EA requested cancellation of Lot 3 ($0.3 million) due to low amount and equipment brought from DABS' own budget and procurement. The project is 100% complete.
(iv) Sheberghan Gas Wells Rehabilitation ($10.1 million & $15 million respectively). The subproject comprises rehabilitation of 8 12 gas wells, as technically feasible, in Sheberghan in northern Afghanistan. Phase 1 of the gas wells rehabilitation was awarded to Turkish Petroleum in August 2012 and 6 wells were fully rehabilitated in October 2014. These wells are now producing nearly 1.2 million cubic meters of gas/day for use by the industrial, commercial and residential customers. The Phase-II of gas wells rehabilitation (2 wells) has been awarded to a Chinese consortium, after failure of first bidding round in 2015. Contract is expected to be completed by Q4 2017. The 2 wells are expected to produce 1 million cubic meter of gas per day.
(v) Future Projects Preparatory Facility ($5.14 million). The subproject comprises preparation of future energy projects including formulation or pre-feasibilities, bidding documents and evaluation of bids through till contract award. The contract was awarded to Fichtner GmbH in November 2012 with the current closing date is 30 June 2017. However, due to additional projects preparation included recently by the Office of Afghan President and the EA, the contract was extended by 12 months through till 30 June 2017. ADB approved no cost extension on 16 June 2016.
(vi) Program Supervision and Project Implementation Consultant ($21.68 million). The subproject comprises program management and supervision, capacity development and support, and related due diligence for G-0134 and G-0184 subprojects. The contract was awarded in May 2010 and has been extended thrice through till 30 June 2017. However with Tranche1 and Tranche 2 subprojects still under implementation, the contract has to be extended again till commissioning of these projects. ADB approved no cost extension of the contract on 30 June 2016.
(vii) Chimtala Substation Extension ($9.35 million). The subproject was added in 2014 for ADB financing as a result of grant savings and urgent need for expansion of Chimtala substation in northern Kabul. The contract was awarded in July 2015 to Kalpataru/RGM JV. The contractor is fielded in April 2016 and expected completion date is Q1 2018.