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Power plants in Afghanistan go operational

NEW DELHI: Bharat Heavy Electricals, the Indian government-owned power plant equipment maker better-known as BHEL, has thrown the switch on two substations in energy-starved Afghanistan.

The 220/20 kilovolt substations will provide power to northern Afghanistan’s Charikar and Doshi regions. Charikar is around 60km from greater Kabul, and Doshi is about 150km from the capital.

“The project has been executed by BHEL on [an engineering, procurement and construction] basis,” the company said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday, without mentioning its cost.

Inaugurated by Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha, the substations are part of a 220-kilovolt transmission line between the northern city of Phul e-Khumri and Kabul.

The Indian government has committed $2 billion for reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan. On Dec. 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the $90 million India-funded Afghan Parliament building in Kabul.

Another mega project for which India has extended assistance is Afghanistan’s Salma dam, which is to be completed by June at an estimated cost of $266 million.

The 107.5-meter-high earth-and-rock dam in Herat Province will provide energy and irrigation to western Afghanistan. It is to include a 42 megawatt powerhouse.—(Nikkei Asian Review)

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