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Cablegate: Af: Afghanistan Energy Projects: Year-End Update

VZCZCXRO7390
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0102/01 0090206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090206Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2328
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0582
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4345

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000102

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/RA, AND SCA/A (A/S BOUCHER, GASTRIGHT,
DEUTSCH)
DEPT PASS AID/ANE, OPIC
DEPT PASS USTR FOR LILIENFELD AND KLEIN
DEPT PASS OPIC FORZAHNISER
DEPT PASS TDA FOR STEIN AND GREENIP
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, POLAD, JICENT
NSC FOR JWOOD
TREASURY FOR ABAUKOL, BDAHL, AND MNUGENT
MANILA PLEASE PASS ADB/USED
PARIS FOR OECD/ENERGY ATTACHE
OSD FOR SHIVERS, SHINN
COMMERCE FOR DEES, CHOPPIN, AND FONOVICH
TOKYO ALSO FOR AID COUNSELOR AANENSON

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

REF: 2007 KABUL 3998

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: ENRG EFIN ETRD KPWR EAID PGOV AF CH
SUBJECT: AF: Afghanistan Energy Projects: Year-End Update

Sensitive but Unclassified

1. (SBU) The following is a short update on the current status of
some of the most high-profile USG energy projects in Afghanistan:

2. (SBU) 100 MW KABUL POWER PLANT "GEN SETS" - Despite earlier
problems with squatters on the project site, site clearing is
underway. Topographical and aerial survey mapping have been
completed as well as site cleaning and the project appears to be on
schedule for completion with 66 MW coming on line in December 2008
and the remaining 34 MW in early April 2009.

3. (SBU) North East Power System (NEPS) - UZBEKISTAN - As reported
in Reftel, the Afghans have agreed to fund the construction of 43 km
of power lines and power transformer (500/220 KV - 500 MVA) within
Uzbekistan in order to complete the interconnection with the NEPS
system. Deputy Minster of Energy and Water Mir Sediq will lead a
delegation to Uzbekistan on January 4 to complete construction
contract and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) negotiations.

4. (SBU) NEPS - TAJIKISTAN - Although it has previously said no work
on the Tajik line of the NEPS would begin until a PPA was
negotiated, the Asian Development Bank released tender documents for
the Kunduz to Tajik border transmission line in early December.
This step was taken in the hopes that Afghanistan will conclude a
PPA with the Tajiks by March or April of 2008. This will coincide
with the expected contract award deadline for the construction of
the line and will allow work to begin immediately. If a PPA is not
in place by April 2008, the ADB will delay the project award.

5. (SBU) NEPS - TURKMENISTAN - In discussions with the Ministry of
Energy and Water, the Turkmen have requested a demonstration of
Afghan commitment to the NEPS. They would like to see Afghanistan
begin construction of the 40 km of transmission line needed in
Afghanistan to connect with Turkmenistan. In turn, Turkmenistan
will then begin construction of its 400 km of transmission line
necessary to export power into the NEPS system. Discussions are
underway to identify funding for the Afghan portion of the NEPS line
to Turkmenistan.

6. (SBU) South East Power System (SEPS) - Security problems persist,
however, an airlift to transport materials for the rehabilitations
of Unit #3 to the site is expected to take place in early January.
The planned rehabilitation would take Unit # 3, currently generating
approximately 11 MW, off-line for nine months. Discussions are
underway to explore the possibility of providing temporary gensets
to the areas affected by the shutdown of Unit #3 in the interim.

7. (SBU) SHEBERGHAN GAS WELL REHABILITATION - A joint Ministry of
Mines, Louis Berger Group and USAID team completed their analysis of
the bids. The USAID contracting office hopes to have the contract
awarded by mid-January allowing the contractor to mobilize into the
field by the end of January 2008. Preliminary well test results
should be available by June 2008.

8. (SBU) SHEBERGHAN POWER GENERATION - USAID is exploring two
simultaneous approaches to power generation, i.e., a fast-track
approach that would procure gas turbine generators for public sector
management, and a necessarily longer-term effort to attract private
sector investment in larger-scale generating capacity, assuming that
the above-mentioned well test results prove sufficiently positive.


KABUL 00000102 002 OF 002


Wood

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