Central Asia South Asia (CASA-1000)

Central Asia–South Asia Regional Energy Market (CASA-1000)

Over a projected 15-year project life-span, CASA-1000 will provide the hardware (physical infrastructure) and software (institutional and legal framework) to enable 1300 MW of surplus electricity to be traded each summer between the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan in Central Asia and Afghanistan (receiving 300 MW of electricity) and, in South Asia, Pakistan (receiving the remaining lion’s share of power of 1000 MW). If agreed by the four participating countries, the project could be extended for another 15-year period. With an estimated economic Internal Rate of Return of 15.6 percent, according to one independent study, CASA-1000 is projected to generate public Afghan revenues between USD $88 and $175 million per annum and catalytic (indirect) employment opportunities of over 100,000. The World Bank has helped to convene, for over a decade, a CASA 1000 participating countries technical working group to achieve progress towards the commercial negotiation of a sales and electricity transmissions operating agreement. In particular, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the four participating countries, in 2011 in Bishkek, represented a critical breakthrough for the regional energy project.  CASA-1000 is expected to begin providing energy by early 2022.

Current Status

During the past twelve months (through CASA-1000 secretariat supported coordination meetings in various configurations, and following delays in 2016, especially due to convertor station disagreements), marked progress has been made in the following key areas:

Afghanistan Transmission Line Procurement has been concluded, and by mid-November 2017, a contract signing ceremony is expected for this 563 km transmission line.

The evaluation of bids for procurement contracts for other key components of the CASA-1000 project is underway (including Converter Stations in Pakistan and Tajikistan and Transmission Lines AC and DC in Pakistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan).

The Owners Engineer Bids Evaluation Report has been sent to the World Bank for approval.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report has commenced, and soon a resettlement plan for affected communities will be awarded to a consulting company.

Once the transmission line’s construction is initiated in 2018, the 500kV line extension in Afghanistan will run an estimated length of 563 km from the crossing point of Sher Khan Bander in Tajikistan through the Afghan provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, Panjsher, Kapisa, Kabul (Sorubi) Laghman, and Nangahar, reaching the Torkham Gate crossing point into Pakistan. The total estimated length, between Sangtuda, Tajikistan and Nawshehra, Pakistan is 765 km. CASA-1000 is a central part of the Afghan Government’s National Infrastructure Plan.

Budget & Funding Status USD 1.2 billion
Institutional Partners Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Pakistan, the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and USAID

Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:

  • Complete the CASA-1000 environmental and social impact surveys, as well as the additional project design work in Afghanistan.
  • Finalize, by the first quarter of 2018, the selection and contracting of the project’s engineering firm to minimize delays in completing the HVDC line in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.
  • Begin to lay groundwork now on foreseeable challenges related to security, topography, indemnity payments to private land holders along the transmission line route, and the timely administration of donor payments.