Afghanistan : Development of Mini Hydropower Plants in Badakhshan and Bamyan Provinces

Sovereign Project | 42094-062

The project entails development of upto four mini hydropower plants through cofinancing by Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The project will serve remote district centers in Badakhshan and Bamyan provinces on North Eastern and Central Afghanistan -- these provinces are not expected to be supplied by the North East Power System (NEPS) grid in the foreseeable future. The aggregate installed capacity will be around 2 MW (0.5MW x 4).

Project Name
Development of Mini Hydropower Plants in Badakhshan and Bamyan Provinces
Project Number
Country / Economy
  • Afghanistan
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 9128-AFG: Development of Mini Hydropower Plants in Badakhshan and Bamyan Provinces
Source Amount
Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific US$ 12.00 million
Strategic Agendas
  • Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change
  • Partnerships
Sector / Subsector
  • Energy /

No gender elements

The project entails development of upto four mini hydropower plants through cofinancing by Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The project will serve remote district centers in Badakhshan and Bamyan provinces on North Eastern and Central Afghanistan -- these provinces are not expected to be supplied by the North East Power System (NEPS) grid in the foreseeable future. The aggregate installed capacity will be around 2 MW (0.5MW x 4).

The Project objective is to improve the quality of life of rural communities in Badakhshan and Bamyan provinces through the provision of electricity services supplied by mini hydropower plants (MHP) with generating capacity below 1,000 kilowatts (kW). The Project outcome will include: (i) provision of affordable and stable electricity, (ii) increase in rural commercial activities from establishment of enterprises using electricity, (iii) increased employment opportunities, (iv) reduction of indoor pollution caused by the use of indigenous sources of energy, and (v) capacity building in small hydropower development.

The Project outputs are the identification, planning, designing, and establishment of a maximum of four off-grid MHPs, each with an installed capacity in the order of magnitude of 500 kW. Target areas are district centers that are not planned for grid connection in the foreseeable future or are being supplied through expensive and unreliable diesel generation. Communities will receive support to establish income-generating activities during the day-time (i.e., off-peak hours).

The MHPs will be operated and maintained by the Afghanistan Electricity Corporation (DABS), the national power utility. To ensure sustainable management, capacity building is integrated as an essential component of the Project. Similarly, the entire project cycle is regarded as an on-the-job training opportunity in which counterpart staff of the Executing Agency, DABS, will be closely engaged in subproject preparation and implementation.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

ADB Board has approved the 2009-2013 Afghanistan country partnership strategy [(CPS) 2009-2013] which is fully aligned with key the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and the National Priority Programs. At the Government request, and congruent with ADB's Medium Term Strategy 2020, ADB assistance to Afghanistan will continue to focus on a limited number of priority sectors that contribute to Afghanistan's economic and social development. This includes Energy (power and gas sub-sectors), including rural electrification, as one of the key areas of ADB's interventions in Afghanistan. In accordance with the CPS, a key development outcome in the power sector to which ADB will contribute is increase in the number of urban and rural households with access to electricity to 65% and 25%, respectively, in the medium term.

ADB remains Afghanistan's largest development partner in Energy Sector with a commitment of approximately $700 million. ADB is assisting through investment projects (loans and grants) in the power supply chain -- generation, transmission, distribution -- to achieve energy security. These projects are underpinned by technical and advisory technical assistance projects to implement sector reforms and strengthen capacity development and governance.


Sustainable and reliable power supply for off-grid consumers

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Expanded electrification coverage in Bamyan and Badakhshan provinces

Progress Toward Outcome
Design and supervision consultants, intermittently fielded from August 2011, completed detailed design for 4 mini hydro plants (MHPs) and associated minigrids and prepared bidding documents for 4 MHPs (Topchi, Taqab, Baharaq, Panjab). On 16 June 2014 ADB advised the Government on cancellation of the grant and closure of the Project due to substantial increase in the project cost and insufficient remaining grant balance to complete construction. Using prepared documents DABS may proceed with its own financing or propose the project for financing by other donors.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Mini hydropower plants (MHP) with distribution networks installed in Bamyan and Badakhshan provinces

DABS capacity in planning and procurement/contract management enhanced

Local capacities on MHP operations and maintenance developed

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The Grant is being cancelled, therefore DABS using detail engineering design and bidding documents prepared under the project may finance construction of MHPs from its own resources or invite a financier.

During the pre-construction phase more than 70 technical staff and engineers from DABS in Kabul and Bamyan and Badakhshan received training on planning and contract management.

Because of the Grant cancellation further trainings on operations and maintenance might be received under other projects (Gereshk for example).

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Initial Environmental Examination Reports (IEEs) have been prepared for the 4 MHPs based on detailed/final design and will soon be submitted to ADB for review. After the review and approval, the IEEs will be translated into local languages for disclosure in each respective project sites.
Involuntary Resettlement

Separate Land Acquisition and Resettlement Plans have been prepared for Tagab, Panjab & Baharak Mini Hydro Power Plants and submitted to ADB for review. The comments of ADB on the 3 LARPs have been communicated back to the consultant to be incorporated and, subsequently, approved by government and ADB for disclosure and implementation. Involuntary Resettlement impact is not significant in these 3 MHPs and thus it is categorized as IR category B subprojects.

Indigenous Peoples

No negative effects on indigenous peoples are expected; benefits should accrue evenly to all sections of the population regardless of ethnicity.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design

Project design consultants fielded in April 2011 and DABS were carrying out an extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders including government agencies, project beneficiaries and affectees, civil socity and international development partners. The design consultants prepared bidding documents for international competitive bidding.

During Project Implementation
CWEN/AFRM held consultation with Ministry of Finance and DABS on four options to proceed with the project implementation including cancellation of the grant.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services
Recruitment of consultants will be in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2007, as amended from time to time). A total of 267.0 person-months (83.5 person-months for international and 183.5 person-months for national of consulting services will be required under the Project. A consulting firm will be recruited using the quality- and cost-based selection method with an 80:20 quality-to-cost weighting scheme. The proposal will be a full technical proposal.
All procurement will be in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2007, as amended from time to time). National competitive bidding will be adopted for civil works contracts equal to and below $2 million as well as for goods contracts between $100,000 and $500,000. International competitive bidding will be used for civil works contracts above $2 million and for goods contracts above $500,000. For civil works and goods contracts below $100,000 shopping may be used, and direct purchase may be used for contracts below $10,000.


Responsible ADB Officer
ADB Disclosure
Responsible ADB Department
Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division
Afghanistan Resident Mission (AFRM)


Concept Clearance
09 Jun 2008
Fact Finding
01 Feb 2009 to 05 Feb 2009
28 Nov 2008
Last Review Mission
PDS Creation Date
22 May 2009
Last PDS Update
26 Sep 2014


Grant 9128-AFG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Nov 2008 01 Feb 2009 01 Feb 2009 29 Feb 2012 28 Feb 2014 30 Oct 2014
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 13.00
ADB 0.00
Counterpart 1.00
Cofinancing 12.00
Grant Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 17 Jun 2022 0.00 2.01 17%
Cumulative Disbursements 17 Jun 2022 0.00 2.01 17%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory - - - -

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