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Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan (TAP) Power Interconnection project [free access]

March 4, 2019

Developers: Turkmenenergo of Turkmenistan; Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) of Afghanistan; and National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDC) of Pakistan 


Project details and status: The 500 kV Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan (TAP) power interconnection project is one of the most important regional energy projects and will enable power trade among the three countries.


The project will be phased into two concurrent stages. The first phase—to be completed by 2021—will use the existing infrastructure under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-financed Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TUTAP) power interconnection project, which aims to export power from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The second phase—to be completed by 2022—will transfer power from Turkmenistan through the border of Serhetabad (in Turkmenistan) and Torghundy into Herat, Kandahar and Spin Boldak in Afghanistan, and to Chaman and Quetta in Pakistan.


The project includes the construction of around 500 km of 500 kV transmission line between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Once completed, the project will be able transfer up to 4,000 MW of power from Turkmenistan into Afghanistan and Pakistan.


The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in December 2015 between the respective countries. The 500 kV transmission line project falls under the framework of the Central Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM).


In March 2018, ADB agreed to finance the project. But according to DABS officials, the commitment has not been delivered on so far. ADB has not yet determined the amount needed towards financial assistance for the project, but DABS has estimated that Afghanistan’s section of the project will cost USD70 million.


In February 2019, a Turkey-based firm expressed interested in investing in the project, and in purchasing electricity from Turkmenistan and then selling it to Afghanistan. The name of the company has not yet been disclosed.