Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand will provide $18.6 million for a solar energy system in the Bamyan province of Afghanistan.
Two New Zealand companies, NetCon Ltd and Sustainable Energy Services International, have been awarded the contract, with construction expected to be completed at the end of 2013.
“New Zealand has had a close relationship with Bamyan since the first Provincial Reconstruction Team arrived in 2003. Energy is a top priority for Afghanistan’s development and the government of Bamyan is welcoming this initiative to bring power to the province,” Mr McCully says.
“We are pleased to be able to provide a system that will reliably supply power to about 2500 homes, businesses, and government buildings.
“This project is as much about building a utility and training staff as it is about constructing a reliable energy facility. The system must be sustainable in the long term, so to that end the government will set a tariff that is affordable but also covers the cost of maintenance.”
The 1.05MW solar plant will be the largest in Afghanistan.