Afghanistan’s Power Production System

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Afghanistan’s Power Production System

By Malik Mortaza
Isolated regional networks supplied by small hydro power plants and diesel generation units, with the exception of one large hydroelectric 100 MW plant supplying the Kabul area, characterize the power systems of Afghanistan. The network serving the capital city constitutes 70% of the national electricity system.

The installed capacity of electricity per capita (0.027 kW) and utilization of electric energy per capita (45kwh/year) in Afghanistan are amongst the lowest in the world; about 6% of the population has electricity.

The electricity production of the Ministry of Water and Power as the principal utility represents 78% of total generation. The installed capacity of the ministry is 377 MW. The capacity of hydroelectric plant is 256 MW (68%), gas turbines account for 88.6 MW (24%), and diesel generators 32 MW (8%).

The Ministry of Water and Power covers more than 80% and as much as 90% of distributed energy by its own production. Excess electricity is bought from the other two ministries. As the domestic production capacity in the northern areas has declined, import of energy from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan has increased correspondingly. Electricity import, begun in 1985, represented some 10% of the total consumption in 1990. Today, its share is nearly 20% at the estimated 190GWH in 1993.

The majority of the production capacity was installed before the war. Only two small hydropower plants [Table 1] and a 45 MW gas turbine station in Kabul [Table 2] have been constructed during the 1980’s.

The production capacity of the Ministry of Mines and Industries with two gas turbines located near a gas field is 17 MW and 48 MW plants with four gas turbines in Mazar-I-Sharif.

In 1980 the total production combined of hydroelectric, gas turbine, diesel, steam, and gas was 955.88 GWH, and in 1991 was 1,213.58 GWH.

A combined cycle power station located in Kabul has capacity of 28.6 MW. This installation was 90% complete in 1993.

Projects planned or under construction:

Salma in Herat Province
Sabzak in Herat Province
Bakhshabad in Farah Province
Kajakai in Helmand Province

40 MW
50 MW
20 MW