DUSHANBE -- An electric power line linking a hydroelectric power plant in Tajikistan with the Afghan city of Pul-i-Kumri was formally inaugurated today by officials from both countries, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov, Afghan Vice President Mohammadqasim Fahim, and Afghan Water and Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan attended the ceremony in the southern Tajik province of Khatlon, where the Sangtuda Hydroelectric Power Plant is located.
The Afghan officials met in Dushanbe on October 26 with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.
Khan said after the meeting that the 300-megawatt power line between Sangtuda and Pul-i-Kumri, the administrative center of Baghlan Province, will initially supply Afghanistan with power for just five months of the year, beginning in May.
As of 2015, Tajikistan will supply electricity all year around.
Tajik hydroelectric power plants generate a large amount of electricity during the spring and summer, providing a surplus for export. But during the winter months, Tajikistan experiences power shortages that usually necessitate rationing.
Construction of the 281-kilometer power line (118 kilometers on Tajik territory and 163 kilometers in Afghanistan) began in 2009 and was financed primarily by long-term, low-interest loans from the Asian Development Bank.
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