Power Transmission Expansion and Connectivity Project

Speeches Shim

  • Duration: 
    Aug 2011 – Dec 2023
  • Value: $725 million


Recent estimates indicate only 30 percent of Afghans have access to electricity. The USAID Power Transmission Expansion and Connectivity project, in partnership with the national electric utility Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), is working to increase access to electricity by (1) expanding and improving Afghanistan’s electric transmission system, (2) strengthening the ability of DABS to manage, operate, and maintain the national power system, and (3) attracting private sector investment to Afghanistan’s energy sector.

A top priority for USAID and the Government of Afghanistan is expanding the national power grid by connecting Afghanistan’s northeastern power grid with the southeastern power grid in Helmand and Kandahar. USAID is funding the construction of a 500 kilometer (km) transmission line connecting the two networks, as well as improvements to the existing southeastern grid. Once the project is completed, DABS will be capable of providing affordable power to about 2 million Afghans who have never had power or who are underserved.

Another USAID objective is to provide technical assistance to DABS to manage, operate, and maintain the national power system effectively by increasing cost recovery, reducing technical and commercial losses, and improving DABS’ management and technical departments. A longer-term USAID objective is to support the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts to make the energy sector more attractive to private investors.


  • Construction of a substation at Salang Tunnel to provide power to tunnel operations and surrounding villages
  • Construction of a 220-kilovolt (KV) transmission line between Ghazni and Kandahar that will complete integration of Afghanistan’s southern power grid with its northeastern power grid
  • Support DABS to complete the Power Purchase Agreement with the Independent Power Producer (IPP) for the commissioning of the construction, maintenance, and operation of the 10-megawatt (MW) solar plant in Kandahar
  • Install bulk energy meters at DABS’ substations and assist DABS to reduce technical and commercial losses in electrical grid and thereby increase revenues
  • Install utility management software and train staff to operate it at five operations centers
  • Install and configure a disaster recovery data center for DABS
  • Provide spare parts for the Tarakhil Power Plant
  • Build capacity at DABS to improve technical operations, financial and corporate management practices, revenue protection programs, and asset administration Co-develop energy generation projects with private sector firms to provide energy solutions for Afghanistan under the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) mechanism
  • Work with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide quality assurance and engineering support for transmission line and substation construction projects
  • Construct substations at Qarabagh, Muqur, Shah Joy, Qalat and Kandahar East
  • Construct of 114-km of transmission lines and five substations and switchyards, as well as other improvements, to rehabilitate the southeastern power grid


  • Completion of the transmission line and substations between Arghandi and Ghazni, thereby reducing price of electricity from $0.56 to $0.05 per kilowatt hour for residents in Ghazni and Sayedabad
  • Installed more than 800 bulk energy meters in the Kabul electricity distribution network, enabling DABS to address energy losses
  • Completed 40 percent of the contracted value of the transmission line between Ghazni and Kandahar; a contract for construction of the five substations along this line expected in July 2019
  • Six of the 10 MW have been installed at Kandahar solar plant


Last updated: December 11, 2019

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