Solar power plant to supply power to Kandahar industrial park

Photo credit: Wadsam

TMP – 13/10/2017

A 10-megawatt solar power plant, the first of its kind in Afghanistan, is being developed close to the southern city of Kandahar, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the solar power plant was held on 24 September, and was attended by government officials and representatives from USAID, Afghanistan’s national power utility (Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat) and Indian contractors.

“This privately-owned and maintained solar power plant will be an important step toward solving the critical shortage of power in Kandahar,” the CEO of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat said. “It will provide electricity to an industrial park, thus enabling additional private sector investment in the area.”
Acting USAID Mission Director in Afghanistan Michael McCord said the private sector is the key to further development of Afghanistan’s energy sector.

“We are encouraging many more private and public investment agreements in Afghanistan, which will lead to more economic growth, security and prosperity for the Afghan people,” McCord said.

The power plant will be finalized by August 2018 but will start producing electricity before then.
Faizulhaq Mashkani, deputy head of the Kandahar Industrialist Association, emphasized the important role of the power plant. The existing electricity shortage in Kandahar affects both residents and factory owners, with 154 factories only partially functional because of the current shortage. It is hoped that the new power plant will help to stimulate job creation for local citizens and boost the economy.