President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement at Official Ceremony of the Launch of CASA-1000 Regional Project

12.05.2016 10:54, Tursunzoda city

Muhammad Navaz Sharif,
Abdullo Abdullo!
Sooronboy Sharipovich Zheenbekov,
Honorable Guests, Development Partners,
Distinguished Participants!

I would like to sincerely and warmly welcome you to Tajikistan.

This official launch of CASA-1000 Project will be a historical milestone for each of us as a symbol of the start of real cooperation among the countries of the wider region of Central and South Asia.

It is obvious that our countries need for a broader energy cooperation to ensure sustainable development and welfare of their peoples by taking into account the existing capacity.

The global trend of formulation of “Green Economy” and therebyfocusing on renewable and environment-friendly energy sources for power generation is one of the features of the contemporary time-being.

Accordingly, our countries’ interest in the effective use of available hydropower capacity alongside with the growing needs of the regional energy market was the factor promoting design of CASA-1000 Project.

The Project’s feasibility study and its implementation once again prove the benefit from the countries’ partnership in this area.

Relevant mutual coordination efforts within CASA-1000 Project started in 2006 and they gradually transferred from paper to a comprehensive project mutually rewarding for all stakeholders.

In this period, we have conducted a number of technical, economic and environmental studies in line with international standards, which present it as a sustainable project of substantive regional importance. As a result of major negotiations among our countries,we have signed a number of project documents, including Master Agreement between the national power companies, Financial Agreements as well as Power Purchase Agreements. Alongside with this we also identified the project’s main financing sources.

With this regard, it is worthwhile to emphasize about the mutually rewarding cooperation between the four participating states and international partners, including the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, as well as the United States Agency for International Development.

Thus, as the first regional project CASA-1000 is a legally and financially viable project meeting international standards. Given its design process and agreement of project documents, we can confidently state that the participating states are firm in implementation of CASA-1000 Project and are able to overcome any challenge in its implementation in cooperation with development partners.

It should be outlined that this Project is unique both from the perspective of implementation of commercial norms and application of technologies.

Construction of more than 1342 km of high voltage AC and DC power transmission lines, switchyards and application of the latest DC technologies will be a serious task for energy and construction specialists.

There are plans to annually transmit 5 billion kw/hours of clean energy from Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to Afghanistan and Pakistan through CASA-1000 Project.

This initiative will make it possible to address a series of social, economic and environmental challenges in all four countries, including creation of new jobs, poverty reduction and improvement of public living standards.

Moreover, CASA-1000 Project compliments the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change from the perspective of decreasing negative impact of industrial wastes on environment and ensuring access to alternative energy sources.

We have to emphasize another important point. This Project’s implementation will give a new impetus on development of trade and production of industrial commodities as well as ensure the Region’s energy security.

Distinguished friends!

We all know that energy is the core for sustainable economic growth. Tajikistan has huge hydropower capacity and renewable sources of power generation, which is not used yet. This resources’ capacity makes it possible to generate 527 billion kw/hours of electricity, only 5% of which is used now.We would like to use this huge capacity not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of the wider Central and South Asia.

With a view to achieving one of our strategic objectives, that is ensuring the country’s energy security, we constantly pay attention to sustainable energy development.

In this regard, over the recent years, by taking into account the balance between the national vs regional interests, we have developed a number of hydropower projects aimed at increasing production of energy and expanding its distribution networks.At present, some of these projects are ongoing and the other part of them is completed with the support of international partners by respecting transparency principles.

With a view to increasing power generation capacity and strengthening energy infrastructure, we implemented tens of public investment projects amounting more than USD1800 billion.

Launch and operation of new power generation facilities like “Sangtuda-1” and “Sangtuda-2” hydropower plants, phase I of Dushanbe-2 thermal power plant and a series of small hydropower plants with overall capacity of more than 1020 MGW are among the major achievements of the sector.

Construction of South-North, Lolazor-Khatlon and Tajikistan-Afghanistan electricity transmission lines with the length of more than 670 km are also among the completed projects.

In addition to this, activities on rehabilitation of existing facilities, construction of other important power generation capacities and electricity transmission lines are ongoing throughout the country.We plan to launch them in the nearest future.

This vividly proves significant increase in capacities of Tajikistan to generate green energy. According to the World Bank evaluation,Tajikistan is among the six leading countries of the world in terms of percentage of green energy generation.Accordingly, I believe that broader use of our huge hydropower resources will further strengthen Tajikistan’s position as a sustainable partner exporting environmentally clean energy.

Honorable participants!

The main objective of this Project is to connect the participating states’ energy grids, construct the necessary infrastructure and thereby ensure socio-economic development of the Region’s countries.

Therefore, CASA-1000 Project is not merely an electricity transmission line connecting our countries, but rather the symbol of revival and strengthening of our countries’ historical trade and economic ties and start of their integration in other areas of economy. Thus, by laying the first brick of the CASA-1000 Project, we are laying the foundation for a new model of regional partnership meeting the demand of the contemporary time-being.

With this regard, I strongly believe that CASA-1000 Project will provide a favorable framework for planning and implementation of a number of other infrastructure projects and make a valuable contribution in strengthening economic ties and cooperation of the region’s countries.

Success of CASA-1000 Project will prove that our countries can further implement high level international projects jointly.

I wish you all success in achieving your noble objectives and good luck to the Project’s specialists and constructors.

Thank You for Your attention!

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