Central Asia South Asia (CASA-1000)

CASA-1000 is developing the physical infrastructure and institutional and legal framework to enable the trade of 1300 MW of summer surplus electricity between Central Asia (namely the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan) and South Asia (namely 1000 MW to Pakistan and 300 MW to Afghanistan) over a 15-year project life-span—with the possibility of a 15-year extension by the four countries. One independent study calculated an Economic Internal Rate of Return of 15.6 percent. CASA-1000 is expected to generate catalytic (indirect) employment opportunities of over 100,000, and its projected net annual Afghan Government revenues range between USD $88 and $175 million. Over the past decade, the World Bank has helped to convene a technical working group involving all CASA-1000 participating countries 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 2019.

Current Status

From 11-12 May 2016, the four project countries and international partners participated in a groundbreaking ceremony in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to commemorate the construction of a 500 kV AC Transmission Line from Sangtuda (Tajikistan) to Torkham (Afghanistan) and concluding in Nawshehra (Pakistan) – 765 km. This builds on the signing, in April 2015, of the Master Agreement and Power Purchase Agreements between the Sellers and Buyers, as well as subsequent commencement of procurement activities for the HVDC line and the HVDC Convertor Stations.  During the bidding process of the HVDC Convertor Stations, the price quoted by the lowest bidder came to be much higher than what was originally budgeted, necessitating a restructuring of the project. In the project’s recent Procurement Committee Meetings (23-25 August 2016 in Paris), it was agreed that the tender for the Convertor Stations will be announced by 9 September 2016 in Tajikistan and by 30 September 2016 in Afghanistan; 36 months are required for implementing this component. A high-level procurement meeting will be convened 19-20 September 2016 in Dubai. CASA-1000 is a central part of the Afghan Government’s Energy and Infrastructure and Connectivity Development National Priority Programs.

Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:

  • Meet immediate project funding shortfall by proposing specific economic incentives to build confidence in both public and private investors.
  • Undertake immediate project restructuring by reaching agreement on the realignment of the—proposed, shorter—500 kV AC Transmission Line between Tajikistan and Pakistan and establishing a new Back-to-Back Station at Pul-e-Khumri, Afghanistan.
  • Leverage the experience of India, Pakistan, Turkey, and the UAE in transforming CASA-1000, over the medium-term, into a sustainable energy-based Public-Private Partnership project (i.e., by establishing a financially viable project governance model that merits the needs of service expansion, while maintaining sufficient profitability for the private partner to build and operate sustainable energy capacity)..
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