Afghanistan Infrastructure and Rehabilitation Services Program(IRP) written in English, Dari and Pashto
Keshim-Faizabad Road, looking upstream on Kotcha River Schoolgirls at well pumping clean water Afghan workers building part of a bridge Asphalt being laid on an Afghan road A section of North West Kabul Power Plant Aerial view of the Kajakai Dam

Energy Networks Maintain Steady Power in Kabul
An aerial view of the Tarakhil 105MW Power Plant that is a critical component of the Northeast Power System that supplies electricity to Kabul.
An aerial view of the Tarakhil 105 MW Power Plant that is a critical component of the Northeast Power System which supplies electricity to Kabul.
During the second week of May, a request landed on the desk of the manager of the 105 MW Tarakhil Power Plant that is located on the outskirts of Kabul. Damage had been discovered on one of the transmissions lines of the Northeast Power System (NEPS) about 200 km away. Could the 105 MW plant supply the electricity during the repairs?

What is remarkable is that six months earlier, the request could not have been granted. The only plant that could have helped was capable of supplying less than a third of the power needed. However, in December 2009 the fully energized 105 MW plant came on-line providing enough back up power to keep the system operating. During the repairs to the NEPS line, the plant supplied a morning peak of 85 megawatts ensuring that the lights stayed on for an estimated 500,000 residents during the most hectic daylight hours in Kabul.

“The incredible thing,” said a top energy official with USAID’s Office of Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy, which has played an instrumental role in improving the energy sector in Afghanistan, “is that the system was down and nobody even knew it. A year ago, Kabul would have been dark.”

An additional success is that the communication was virtually seamless between the plant and Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, Afghanistan’s power utility that launched only a few months earlier than Tarakhil’s debut. “This is really a routine activity at this point,” the plant manager said. “When a line goes down, other stations pick it up.”

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