30 MW solar PV plant approved for south Afghanistan

The HEC of Afghanistan, chaired by the President, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, approved the construction of a 30 MW PV power plant in the province of Kandahar during its 20th meeting.

Dr. Humayoun Qayumi, senior advisor to the president for infrastructures, and Director of Afghan utility, DABS, Amanullah Ghalib, discussed the project plans.

Ghalib said that while over 30 companies expressed interest in the project, two were eligible in terms of meeting technical, financial as well as procurement documents requirements.

According to local media portal, Pajhwok Afghan News, Ajmal Abdulrahimzai, Public Relations director and spokesperson of Ministry of Finance said that after signing the contract, the project will be completed within one year. Moreover, US $39 million will be invested, with government contribution totaling $14 million.

At the same meeting, the President said a unified solar policy should also be developed, so that individual discussions and decision making would not needed for every project.

He said the Ministry of Energy and Water should be working on this and should determine the technical criteria required for the projects.

He further added that priority should be given to the security to ensure implementation of solar projects.

The council was said to have approved the plan after detailed discussions.

Last March, the Afghan government approved a plan for the deployment of 65 MW of solar, tendered in 2016.

Most recently, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to finance a large-scale PV power project in the country to the tune of $44.7 million. The loan will be used to construct a 20 MW grid-connected solar facility in Naghlu, Surobi district, close to the country’s capital Kabul.