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Chinese solar suppliers eye Afghanistan market

AT News

KABUL: Chinese photovoltaic (PV) suppliers are eyeing opportunities in Afghanistan amid the growing expectation of more cooperation from the Afghan government and businesses there, where electricity supplies are uncertain.
The Chinese business representative group called Chinatown in Kabul is in close contact with several domestic PV companies about doing business in the Central Asian country, the Global Times learned.
“We hope that Chinese-funded enterprises will participate in the construction of solar power generation projects,” Li Xijing, deputy general manager with Chinatown, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Sunday.
Afghanistan needs 850 megawatts of electricity annually, of which 620 megawatts are imported from neighboring countries and 230 megawatts are supplied domestically, according to media reports.
Afghanistan has a huge electricity supply gap. About 75-80 percent of the electricity is imported, and with the improvement of living standards and economic development, the gap will be even greater, industry insiders said.
Afghanistan has always wanted to be independent in electricity. However, due to the long investment cycle of hydropower and thermal power infrastructure build-up, the one-time investment is large, as is the investment in supportive facilities, an industry insider said.

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