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Iranian and Afghan Presidents to inaugurate completed power project

The presidents of Iran and Afghanistan will officially inaugurate a 132-kilowatt power transmission line from Torbat-e Jam in northeastern Iran to the western Afghan city of Herat on Thursday, said a senior power industry official in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported.

The English-language paper 'Iran Daily' on Monday quoted the deputy head of TAVANIR (a power generation, distribution and transmission company) as saying that once the power line becomes oprational Iran's power exports to Afghanistan would increase ten- fold.

The official put the total cost of the project at 13.8 million dollars.

"The overall capacity of power transmission from Iran to Afghanistan would increase to 60 megawatts with the inauguration of the new transmission line, which covers 212 kilometers and has a 132-kilowatt (power transmission) post," he said.

He stressed that the amount spent to install the transmission line was part of the financial commitment made by the Islamic Republic of Iran for reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Last March, Iran opened a 150-kilometer, 20-kilowatt power transmission line to the western Afghan city. The project cost Tehran some 2.3 million dollars.

Iran has a plan to construct a cement factory in the war-torn country.

Several joint projects are currently being implemented in Afghanistan between Afghan and Iranian experts and feasibility studies are being conducted on a number of other projects in the cement, power and infrastructure sectors.

Afghan officials have repeatedly announced their willingness to work with Iranian contractors due to their historical and cultural affinities.

Iran's Arian Bank was inaugurated in Kabul in December 2004 as part of the Islamic Republic's efforts to facilitate trade exchances with Afghanistan.

The bank is the eighth foreign bank to operate in Afghanistan since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban by US-led forces.

Arian Bank's total capital has been placed at 10 million dollars.

Given Iran's half-a-billion-dollar commitment to Afghan reconstruction, the bank is expected to help raise the stakes of Iranian businesses in the war-ravaged country.

Iranian exports to Afghanistan, which consist mainly of foodstuff, garments, carpets and construction materials, topped 200 million dollars last year.

... Payvand News - 1/24/05 ... --

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