Siemens Wins Afghan Plant Contract (Update)
(Updates with information on gas supply)
German engineering giant Siemens has had the first order for its SGT-A45 mobile gas-fired power plant unit from Bayat Power in Afghanistan, it said March 25. It is also the first new gas-fired power plant project in Afghanistan since the 1970s.
The 41-MW, trailer-mounted unit will begin to provide electricity for the Jowzjan Province in northern Afghanistan in a few months' time, it said. Nearly all of Afghanistan's power is imported.
Fully tested and pre-commissioned in the factory, its trailer-mounted design minimises the amount of construction work required on site. As a result, the plant can begin producing electricity in only a few months and will be capable of supplying power for some 200,000 homes.
Head of commercial gas and power sales Julian Erfurth said: “The Siemens SGT-A45 mobile unit is the most powerful and efficient mobile gas turbine in the market. Our unique offering, combined with Bayat Power’s extensive experience developing infrastructure in Afghanistan, will enable the first new gas-fired power plant in the country in over 40 years."
Bayat CEO Ehsan Bayat said the project would enable Afghanistan "to take its first step towards powering the next phase of the nation’s economic growth," and was also a"further example of the Bayat Group’s commitment to investing in Afghanistan’s domestic energy industry in order to help electrify new industries, create jobs and activate opportunities which will benefit our entire country.”
Gas to come from domestic reserves
The gas will come from the Yatimtaq field, which is in the Afghanistan portion of the Amu Darya basin, which also lies beneath Turkmenistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, an advisor to the project told NGW March 26.
Discovered by the Soviets in the late 1960s, it was developed by the Soviets in the 1970s and during Soviet times, natural gas was Afghanistan's largest export. When the Soviets left, they disconnected the export pipelines, said Kristopher Haag of EMI Advisors in an email. In 2012 the Asian Development Bank funded the rehabilitation of several Soviet-era wells in Yatimtaq.
In 2014 the US Department of Defense funded the construction of gas processing facilities just adjacent to the Yatimtaq field and the Yatimtaq field, the gas processing facilities and the Bayat-Siemens Power plant are all in the same general vicinity. The plant will operate at base load and will consume about 230mn m³/day of gas.