Black & Veatch continues to bring real value to the people of Afghanistan by increasing generating capacity at the Kajaki Hydro Power Plant Unit 2 under extremely challenging circumstances. In fact, Black & Veatch’s efforts for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have been a leading contributor to more than doubling the electrical power capacity available to the Afghan people.
But it hasn’t been easy. For example, in early 2012, the government of Afghanistan prohibited the use of private security contractors for companies such as Black & Veatch, a practice that had been allowed in the previous decade of building infrastructure in the war-time environment. Therefore, Black & Veatch – by embracing the objective of sustainability – became the first company to use government forces for security on a major infrastructure project, by utilizing the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), combined with private risk management consultants.
Black & Veatch worked on the front end of the Kajaki Hydro project, including engineering, bidding out construction, clearing the area of potential mines and finishing camp upgrades. The project will bring an additional 18.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the people of Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
When all units are functional, the Kajaki Hydro Power Plant will produce 51 MW of electricity and serve more than 227,000 people. Kajaki is an important stabilization and development project in Afghanistan’s southern region. U.S. Embassy officials have stated that Kajaki continues to affirm the United States’ commitment to a stable, sustainable Afghanistan, and its desire to make the Helmand Valley fully viable by providing water for irrigation and electrical generation.
In the capital city of Kabul and surrounding region, Black & Veatch’s efforts have resulted in a more than 400 percent increase in daily power production for the Afghan national utility, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat. This includes more than 240 MW of import power transmitted through the enhancements to the North East Power System and the addition of the 105-MW Tarakhil Power Plant near Kabul. The plant was completed in phases under war-time conditions, and similar conditions continue at the Kajaki project in the hotly contested southern region of the nation.