Pylon damage causing power company to lose $34K per hour

KABUL (Tolo News): The country’s power distributor, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), is “losing 2.7 million Afs ($34,000) per hour” because of the disconnected imported power from Uzbekistan due to the destruction of an electricity pylon north of Kabul, DABS officials said on Thursday.

The power pylon that supplies 400 megawatts of imported power to Kabul was destroyed by a bomb explosion in Qara Bagh district, 50 kilometers north of the city of Kabul. “By cutting the 400 megawatts of electricity, DABS will lose 2.7 million Afs ($34,000) per hour,” said DABS spokesman Sangar Niazi.

DABS officials said work has begun to reconstruct the destroyed pylon and that the imported power will be reconnected by Thursday evening. This comes at least three weeks after 13 power pylons were destroyed in northern Kabul districts and Baghlan province in the span of two weeks last month. Kabul faced power shortages for three weeks at that time.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts that destroyed the power pylons. “We have two types of damages. One is the loss of power related to our commercial sector, and the other is the loss of equipment and physical work in the sector,” said Khoshal Safi, a DABS official. The reconstruction of the power pylon in Qara Bagh will cost $100,000, Safi said.

DABS annually pays $300 million for the imported power, mainly from Uzbekistan. Power outages cause various types of damages to DABS in addition to lost revenue, the company says. Hasibaullah, a farmer in Qara Bagh, said the destruction of the power pylon damaged his grape farms, which cost him around 400,000 Afs ($5,000). The damage will be compensated by DABS, he said. “Each grapevine is worth 10,000 Afs ($125). As far as we have calculated, dozens of vines have been damaged in the incident. Also, DABS broke the wall of the garden to move its equipment,” he said.