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Eighth Task Force meeting on regional electricity cooperation in Central and South Asia

The 8th meeting of the Task Force on Regional Energy Cooperation in Central and Southern Asia took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 20 July 2012 upon the invitation of the Ministry of Energy and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan.

All Task Force participating countries were present at the meeting, except for Pakistan. The objective of the meeting was to continue and strengthen the political dialogue on the promotion and development of sustainable energy resources, including hydropower. There were also discussions on the development of transport corridors and trade in electricity and gas. The results of the political dialogue from previous Task Force meetings were assessed and, based on the findings, more efficient ways of using the regional energy forum were proposed.

The Minister of Energy and Industry of Tajikistan Mr. Sherali Gul emphasised the role of the Energy Charter as an instrument for cross-border cooperation in the fields of energy trade, transit, investment and energy efficiency. The Minister looked forward to discussing ways of strengthening cooperation with the neighbour countries in this forum.

All the major energy corridors and projects of regional significance were discussed at the meeting. Several participating countries noted the importance of the CASA 1000 project as a backbone for linking Central Asia to South Asia. The project would involve building a DC power line between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. It would facilitate the linking of the Central Asian producer countries to the South Asian markets. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project was also presented and shown to be of benefit to the four countries involved. Each of the CASA 1000 and the TAPI projects have the characteristics of being trans-boundary energy projects involving the countries of Central and South Asia. All Central Asian states are members of the Energy Charter Treaty, while Afghanistan and Pakistan have observer status. The principles of the Energy Charter may serve as common legal grounds to facilitate the realisation of important strategic projects and to drive foreign direct investments, thus contributing to the development of national economies in the region.

The CIS Power Council presented the benefits of a synchronous operation of the electricity grids of the countries of Central Asia. The Council demonstrated that considerable damage could result if synchronous operation was further endangered or suspended.

The representative of China discussed this country's interest in pipelines linking it to the oil and gas resources of Central Asia. China's energy consumption is growing rapidly and further diversified sources of energy are needed in order to satisfy the soaring demand.

Representatives of various other countries and organisations presented their projects and strategies for the region at the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, delegates adopted a new Declaration paving the way for continued cooperation in various fields of interest to the region.

Meeting Presentations

Welcome speeches and opening remarks

Mr. Sherali Gul (in Russian)
Minister of Energy and Industry, Tajikistan

Amb. Olav Berstad
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Amb. Urban Rusnák
Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat

Session 1. Energy Policy - Projects of Regional Significance

Chair: Mr. Sherali Gul, Minister of Energy and Industry, Tajikistan

Mr. Sherali Gul (in Russian)
Minister of Energy and Industry, Tajikistan

Mr. Aibek Kaliev (in Russian)
Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry, Kyrgyzstan

Mr. Ghulam Faruq Qazizadah (in English)
Deputy Minister of Water and Energy, Afghanistan

Session 2. From Energy Resources: via Transport Corridors - to Energy Markets

Chair: Amb. Urban Rusnák, Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat

Mr. Tetsuya Yamada (in English)
Director, Central Asian Division, East and Central Asia Department, JICA

Mr. Xiaowei Wang (in English)
Department of Oil and Gas (National Reserve Office), National Energy Administration of China

Mr. Hilal Raza (in English)
Director, South Asian Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Energy Centre, Pakistan

Mr. Durga Nath Raina (in English)
Director, Entecsol International, India

Mr. Evgeny Mishuk (in Russian)
Chairman of the Executive Committee, CIS Power Council

Mr. Eduard Auer (in English)
Head of the European Union Delegation in Tajikistan

Ms. Sarin Abado (in English)
Energy Regulatory Authority of Austria (E-Control Austria)

Ms. Joellyn Murphy (in English)
Chief of Party, Regional Energy Security, Efficiency and Trade Programme (RESET), USAID

Panel Discussion

Chair: Mr. Sherali Gul, Minister of Energy and Industry, Tajikistan

Press Conference

Session 3. Projects and Financing

Chair: Amb. Urban Rusnák, Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat

Ms. Asel Chyngysheva
Acting director of Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Ms. Regina Gujan, Mr. Ruslan Sadykov (in English)
Development Cooperation Agency, Switzerland

Mr. Reinhard Woytek (in English)
Programme Director, Framework and Finance for Private Sector Development, GIZ

Panel Discussion

Chair: Mr. Steivan Defilla, Director, Energy Charter Secretariat

Concluding Remarks

Mr. Steivan Defilla, Director, Energy Charter Secretariat