The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Afghanistan District hosted the Senior Executive Power Governance meeting bringing together key leaders including the Minister of Finance, Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi, Acting Minister of Energy and Water, Mr. Khan Mohammad Takal, Charge d ’Affairs a.i. for Germany, Christoph Peleikis, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Amanullah Ghalib, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Deputy Country Director Mr. Artur Andrysiak, and United States Agency for International Development.
There was also presentations from CPT Monk, CSTC-A TAAC-N Engineer, DABS Mr. Ghalib, USAID, USACE, ADB and a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition presentation by USACE Project Engineer Steven Jones.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform all stakeholders of the current status of each Power Portfolio within the Afghanistan Power Sector. With a large focus on getting Afghan National Defense Security Force (ANDSF) bases on grid power this meeting was critical to coordinating the timelines of projects that will bring an additional 1000MW of power from Turkmenistan and Uzkbekistan, allowing the Kabul Power deficit to be reduced and more bases on grid power.
Following introductions and opening remarks the meeting kicked off with a celebration of the Base Power Connection at Camp Shaheen, Balkh which was turned over in January 2020. According to a representative from TAAC-N the morale at the base has improved immensely and the quality of life has increased with the onset of the power connection.
In celebration of the great success there was a cake cutting ceremony and then the meeting was turned over to DABS who went into details about the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior Base Connections along with an overall portfolio of DABS.
Col. Chris Beck, Transatlantic Division Commander who gets weekly updates from USACE Afghanistan District Commander said, “I continue to be impressed with DABS growth and your synchronization efforts across the entire power program.”
The Power Governance structure is a valued tool which brings all partners to the table as a forum to determine the way forward, resolve issues and successfully execute power projects across Afghanistan. This framework defines four levels of the governance structure, Working Level, Executive Level, Senior Executive Level and Presidential Forum (as needed). All providing a forum for cooperative and collaborative exchange. The meetings allow the participants to identify requirements, opportunities for infrastructure development, and resolution of roadblocks which may stand in the way of successful infrastructure implementation.
USACE Afghanistan Power Program Manager Nicole Schmitt provided a pre-award look ahead of the upcoming projects the agency will be involved in.
USACE Power Project Manager Melissa Manske spoke on the North East Power System (NEPS) Southern Electrical Power System (SEPS) Completion Program, describing how the program fully connects the electrical transmission infrastructure from Mazar-e-Sharif to the Kajaki Dam Substation, Durai Junction, and Lashakar Gah. This program will increase capacity, redundancy and reliability for electrical distribution from the North to South of Afghanistan.
The program also stabilizes voltages to permit energization of the transmission lines and to the substations that they serve, while increasing total import capacity from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
This collaborative group strives for creative and innovative solutions to meet the electrical needs of Afghanistan.