Kandahar steel mills may be shut due to electricity shortage

Business & Economics

Kandahar steel mills may be shut due to electricity shortage

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Steel mills owners in southern Kandahar province say their electricity shortage issue could not be resolved so far and if the problem continues, most of factories would stop functioning.

Besides tens of other factories at the Industrial Park of Kandahar City, five steel mills are also functional in which millions of dollars have been invested.

These factories consume massive energy but currently they receive eight hours electricity in 24 hours.

Haji Khan Gul, head of a steel mill, told Pajhwok Afghan News he spent $3 million establishing two factories but due to the shortage of electricity supply, these mills were not functioning at their full capacity.

He said steel mills required continued and high voltage electricity which was not available to them.

“We get eight hours of electricity in 24 hours which is not sustainable too. We cannot afford to run our factories on diesel and other alternatives because it is not economical for us.”

He said currently 24 tonnes of steel was produced in a day, adding that if electricity supply was increased, they could produce 50 tonnes of steel.

Shamsullah, another factory owner, said he had invested millions of afghanis in his factory and provided work to hundreds of people, but due to the shortage of electricity, he suffered loss instead of making profit.

He said the industrial park was provided only eight hours of electricity from the Kajaki Dam, which was not enough.

He said if the issue of electricity was not resolved, industrialists would be forced to withdraw their capitals.

Rozi Khan, an employee of the steel mill, said he has been working in the steel mill from the past five months but their work was going at a slow pace due to the lack of electricity.

MawlaviAyub, acting director of Da Afghanistan BreshnaShirkat (DABS), told Pajhwok Afghan News the water level at the Kajaki Dam was currently 53 metres and up to 30cm water declined each day.

He said if they activated all turbines, the water level in the reservoir would decline to a lowest level and then there would not electricity production.

He added Kandahar received only right MW of electricity from Kajaki Dam and Helmand received up to 10MW electricity.

He said the fact that electricity was supplied to Kandahar City, therefore they were unable to supply more than eight hours electricity to the industrial park.

Currently there are 250 factories in the Kandahar City Industrial Park and 190 of them are functional and 60 others closed due to the shortage of electricity.


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