On August 5, 2009, President Hamid Karzai opened the first 35 megawatt (MW) block of a 100 MW diesel power plant in Kabul, significantly expanding power to the capital and surrounding area. The U.S. Government-funded Tarakhil Power Plant will provide power to approximately 200,000 residents in Kabul in its first phase. When finished later this year, the plant will provide power to more than half a million people, enabling Afghans to light their homes and heat their houses.
At the opening of the ceremony, President Karzai, Minister Khan and Ambassador Eikenberry climbed the stairs to the generator control room, where the President activated one of the plant generators via a computerized control console. U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry stated, “Greater access to electricity will improve economic opportunities and the quality of life for the citizens of Kabul.” He added that the U.S. government is proud of America’s contribution to the development of Afghanistan’s energy sector, noting, “We will continue to make major investments designed to further Afghanistan’s economic growth with our next major anticipated achievement being the reopening of the Kajaki Power Station in Hilmand Province.”