The Government of Afghanistan and leading private Afghan conglomerate Ghazanfar Group have signed an agreement to develop the country’s first gas-based power plant in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Development and construction of the 50MW plant is expected to cater to the country's critical energy needs.
Under the agreement, Ghanzanfar Group has been contracted to build, own, and operate the power plant, which will sell electricity over the next two decades to the country’s national utility company Da Afghanistan BreshnaSherkat.
The facility aims to provide power to around one million Afghans and will boost the country’s generation by around 30%, as well as addressing severe power shortfalls.
Ghazanfar Group's CEO and chairman Ismail Ghazanfar said: “We hope this project will set a good example for private investment in the power sector in Afghanistan.
“It will also help build investor confidence to attract greater private capital and expertise for the development of Afghanistan.”
Upon completion, it will be the first project inthe country to have been been fully financed, designed, built, and operated by the private sector.
Member of the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC) is reported to have played a key role in developing the agreement.
IFC's Middle East and North Africa regional director Mouayed Makhlouf said: “In many conflict-affected states, governments do not have the resources to complete major infrastructure projects themselves.
“But the private sector can help. With their expertise and financial know-how, private firms can help bolster power supplies, improve sanitation, and build transport networks. Today's agreement is a milestone for Afghanistan and will pave the way for investments in the country's infrastructure.”