Kandahar Helmand Power Project (KHPP)

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The Kandahar Helmand Power Project (KHPP) promotes the growth, reliability and sustainability of Afghanistan’s Southern Electric Power System (SEPS).  The project contributes to U.S. government civilian-military cooperation on counterinsurgency, and helps the Afghan Government address a  20-25 megawatt (MW) electricity shortfall in Kandahar City, which is Afghanistan’s second largest city and is a center for education, healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation in Southern Afghanistan. 

At the request of President Karzai, USAID decided in January 2013 to provide “on-budget” financial support to the Afghan government to manage the installation and commissioning of an 18.5 MW turbine to be placed into unit 2 of the Kajaki Hydropower Plant.  This project will be implemented by the national power utility, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS).  Unit 2 will add to the 32 MW of renewable power already being provided by units 1 and 3, both of which were installed and restored by USAID. 

To ensure that SEPS can accommodate increased power loads, KHPP is renovating and upgrading the Kandahar City medium- and low-voltage distribution system, constructing substations, modernizing Kajaki’s control systems, and building Afghan capacity to effectively manage the increases.  As a result, increasingly reliable and affordable power will reach an expanding number of residences, businesses and government offices in Helmand and Kandahar provinces.  Expected impacts include increased economic growth and stability in the region, and enhanced overall quality of life. 

Finally, the KHPP project will complement another USAID project, the Power Transmission Expansion and Connectivity (PTEC) project, which will bring additional renewable power to the region by 2016 by connecting SEPS to the North East Power System (NEPS).


  • Renovate and upgrade the electrical distribution system in Kandahar City, focusing on the medium voltage feeder backbones and renovation of the Breshna Kot substation.
  • Provide 6.6 MW of diesel generation at Shorendam Industrial Park, and prepare DABS to assume its operation and maintenance (O&M).
  • Construct the Durai Junction Substation, an essential hub in the SEPS transmission system.
  • Build the capacity of DABS to manage the installation and commissioning of unit 2 at Kajaki Dam, providing 18.5 MW of additional power. 


  • Installed and commissioned the 6.6 MW diesel generation plant at Shorendam Industrial Park in Kandahar.  Following a successful O&M trial period, DABS assumed responsibility for fueling, operating and maintaining this plant beginning December 31, 2012.
  • Replaced aging diesel generators at the Breshna Kot substation with new units that total 10.5MW.
  • Commenced distribution system upgrades in Kandahar, the renovation of the Breshna Kot Substation.
  • Commenced construction of Durai Junction Substation.
  • Completed the condition assessment of Kajaki Turbine 2, and renovated Kajaki’s housing facility.
  • Supported DABS in successfully repairing a turbine vibration problem in Kajaki Unit 1.
  • Provided diesel plant operations, lineman, and safety training to more than 100 DABS employees.
  • Transitioned Kajaki site security to the Afghan Government-led Afghan Public Protection Force.

Last updated: May 07, 2019

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