DUSHANBE, March 12, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Issues related to cooperation between Inter RAO YeES, operation of the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (HPP) in Tajikistan and electricity deliveries to Afghanistan and Pakistan were discussed here on March 11 at a meeting of President Emomali Rahmon Inter RAO YeES CEO Boris Kovalchuk.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting with President Rahmon, Kovalchuk noted that his company was ready to participate in the Central Asia-South Asia 1000 (CASA-1000) regional project providing for construction of high voltage electricity transmission lines for electricity exports from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is ready to invest in the network infrastructure from Kabul to Pakistan.  Our company is considering the possibility of investing in construction of a 500kV power transmission line through the territory Afghanistan to Kabul,” Kovalchuk said noting that that would allow them to supply electricity generated in Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The volume that could be supplied will exceed summer power surpluses.  Proceeding from this, it would be expedient to build new capacities, but we must consider such projects jointly,” said Kovalchuck, “It means that both power generation and infrastructure must be backed by contracts for product distribution.”

According to him, it is a standard international practice and many investment contracts are concluded under this scheme – projects are implemented simultaneously with contracts for purchase and selling of electrical power.  “In this case, one side fulfills its obligations on constructing and introducing appropriate capacity into operation in time, while other side purchases that capacity at fixed prices.  Under this scheme, such projects become more and this gives investors an opportunity to join these projects,” Inter RAO YeES CEO noted.

On the agreements reached by heads of Russia and Tajikistan earlier, Kovalchuk said “they remain in force but export potential is not bound to any concrete station.”

“There must be a general export potential of country and projects that will have economically maximal effect will be implemented.  Appropriate feasible studies will be conducted and the most optimal project will be chosen,” Kovalchuk noted.

He added that they had also discussed Barqi Tojik’s debts to the Sangtudinskaya GES-1 company.  According to him, Barqi Tojik now owes some US$30 million-US$33 million to Sangtudinskaya GES-1 for consumption of electricity generated by the Sangtuda-1 HPP.

Inter RAO YeES is a Russian energy company engaged in power generation and electricity trading.  It has electricity export and import monopoly in Russia.  The company was formed in May 1997 as a subsidiary of RAO YeES (Russia’s Unified Energy Systems) with the purpose of consolidating energy generation and sales in foreign markets.  However, Inter RAO YeES started operating only in 2000.  In 2002 it expanded into international energy sales.  During the restructuring of RAO YeES, Inter RAO YeES was separated from RAO YeES.