The agreement was reached in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday between Homayoun Haeri, the Iranian energy minister for electricity, and Aman Ghalib, the CEO of the National Power Utility of Afghanistan (DABS).
They agreed that the operations to construct the 220-kilovolt line, which is expected to transfer electricity from central Nimruz Province to Zaranj, both in southwestern Afghanistan, will begin in a few days.
The implementation of the project will help supply electricity to people in Zaranj and prepare the ground for accelerating transit and trade between Iran and Afghanistan through Chabahar port in southwestern Iran.
Haeri, at the head of a delegation, as well as CEO of Iran’s Organization for Management of Electric Power Generation and Transmission (Tavanir) Mohammad Hassan Motevalizadeh traveled to Afghanistan on Saturday.
The Iranian deputy energy minister and his accompanying delegation held a number of meetings with Afghan officials on Saturday and discussed issues pertaining to the field of electricity generation.
Iran currently exchanges electricity with some of its neighbors including Armenia and Iraq. Expansion of such relations with other neighboring states would help turn Iran into a regional energy and electricity hub.
Power grid losses
Speaking at a meeting with the Afghan Minister of Energy and Water Mohammad Gul Khulmi on the same day, Haeri said Iran is interested in helping reduce losses in Afghanistan’s electricity network.
Commenting on Iran’s efforts to minimize the losses of its own electricity network, he noted that the measures taken to this end have helped reduce the losses of the country’s power grid from 18 percent to 10.43 percent.
“Efforts will continue until the amount of losses stand at less than 10 percent,” he said.
Similar measures have been taken in Iraq which is helping reduce the losses of the country’s electricity network, he said, adding that these measures can be used by countries that have power grids similar to that of Iran.
Haeri noted that connecting the power grids of Iran and Afghanistan can benefit both countries.
Commenting on Afghanistan’s numerous capacities in terms of having access to water resources and solar energy, the Iranian deputy minister said these capacities as well as the two countries’ access to abundant wind energy resources along and in proximity to their common border have provided them with the opportunity and potential to generate 16,000 megawatts of electricity.
He noted that using the capacities it has, Afghanistan can become a big exporter of electricity, adding that connecting its grid to that of Iran would facilitate the process.
Connecting Afghanistan’s power grid to Iran’s electricity network can help the former export its electricity to Turkey, Iraq and other countries, Haeri said.
He stressed that the government-affiliated Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company of Iran (Tavanir) is ready to meet its needs for electricity as soon as possible.
Addressing the same meeting, the Afghan minister said among the main preoccupations of Afghanistan is reducing the losses of its electricity network, while putting the present amount of such losses in the country’s power grid at 38 percent.
He noted that Afghanistan imports 80 percent of its electricity need.
At this meeting, Motevalizadeh said Iran is willing to help develop Afghanistan’s power transmission lines in the shortest period of time.