Research

Power and Gas Sectors

  • Significant coal and gas reserves and hydropower potential make domestic electricity generation possible. The large power generation projects needed for mining purposes can be readily sized to meet demands for other industrial, commercial and household use.   Such an approach also brings also an opportunity to utilize and extend the transmission system to provide alternative routings of power across the Hindu Kush and to form the basis for a 220 kV ring around Kabul.

  • While coal fired power generation will increase carbon emissions, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita or per $ of GDP will remain among the world´s lowest.  Efficiency can be incentivized by a normative heat rate requirement. In addition, offsetting improvements in GHG emissions can be achieved by reducing technical losses in Transmission & Distribution (T&D) with greater benefits for the system as a whole.

  • The gas report assesses the potential for gas-fired power that might result from future hydrocarbon development in the Amu Darya and Afghan-Tajik basins located in Northern Afghanistan.

  • If discoveries are made at the oil-prone prospects of the Afghan-Tajik basin, they would produce associated rich gas that could be processed to strip out propane and butane.  The Amu Darya basin has also deep gas deposits, possibly dry gas mostly, therefore increasing the potential for power generation capacity substantially.

  • Nonetheless, substantial additional work is needed to confirm the size of the reserves that could be used for gas-fired power generation to meet demands of not only Northern Afghanistan but also other parts of the country.  Other uses also need to be considered, while larger reserves offer the potential for export.

  • The lack of infrastructure and absence of gas pricing mechanisms might reduce the incentives for the International Oil Companies to explore and produce.

 

Updated September 3, 2013