Afghanistan Energy Assistance Project (AEAP), 2004-2007
As prime, AEAI managed this four-year, $74 million assistance project for USAID as the primary vehicle to restore operations and expand the energy sector’s capacity in post-conflict Afghanistan. It involved restoration, upgrading, and/or construction of large, small and micro hydro projects, gas- and diesel-fired plants, transmission and distribution systems; power plant operation and maintenance; and training programs for technical personnel at energy facilities. The project emphasized the integration of fuel development (gas) and resource management and development – including renewable energy (wind, small/micro hydro, solar photovoltaic, biomass energy) resources and energy efficiency – in energy sector planning and development, to achieve greater energy security and power system reliability and meet growing energy demand. AEAI supported the reorganization of the Afghanistan government’s scattered functions in the sector – i.e., spinning off the oil, gas, and coal resource development functions under the Ministry of Mines and Industry; and diesel procurement functions under the Ministry of Commerce – and their consolidation under the new Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) derived from the former Ministry of Water and Power.
AEAI provided expertise and advisory services to MEW to develop a power system development master plan with donor assistance. AEAI helped reorganize and provided technical support and capacity building to sector entities including DABM (the national electricity company) and its operating subsidiaries in the billing and collections and general business operations. It supported MEW, DABM, and other sector entities to enhance overall power supply capacity and quality of service by: undertaking studies and assessments of the sector’s needs and specific projects; improving system reliability and performance through upgrades, better maintenance and technical training; and developing a regional energy market to enhance security and economics of power supply. It provided capacity building and technical assistance to sector entities for planning functions and load analyses, as well as developing financial and energy-flow models; established tariffs and tariff methodologies based on cost-of-service; helped set energy prices; and negotiated international power transactions. Capacity building initiatives supported by AEAI extended to procurement, project management, power plant development, energy efficiency programs, renewable energy options, and supply/demand-side policies, laws, standards and regulations.
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