Hydropower: Providing Reliable Energy to the Capital

In order to keep increasing the security of the electricity supply to the Afghan population, the German Government is assisting Afghanistan to rehabilitate its electricity infrastructure and energy production facilities, such as hydropower plants.


Decades of violent conflict in Afghanistan have left much of the country’s infrastructure severely damaged or destroyed, including the Mahipar and Sarobi hydropower plants close to Kabul. The two plants are the capital’s main source of electricity. Without them, the city’s residents would face prolonged power cuts, which would hamper their everyday lives and inhibit the country’s economic development.


The programme is designed to make a key contribution to securing and improving the electricity supply in Kabul, thereby laying the foundations for reconstruction and social and economic activities in Afghanistan.

Measures & Results

The rehabilitation of the two hydro power plants involved urgent repair work, including the reconditioning of turbines and generator units, other construction measures for the commissioning of both plants, and the provision of advisory services on the repair and operation of the plants. Around 15% of the total rehabilitation costs for the two hydropower plants were covered by the World Bank’s Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).

Additionally, operating staff at the two plants and at the Breshna Kot substation in Kabul have received training in how to manage the power plants in an optimal, technically effective and efficient manner in the long term.

Following their recommissioning, the Mahipar and Sarobi plants are making a key contribution to securing and improving the supply of electricity to the capital Kabul and the surrounding region based on the efficient use of existing hydropower potential. The two plants now generate 302 gigawatt hours of energy, three times as much as in the past. This is now benefiting 312,000 households (more than 1.96 million people) and almost 13,000 companies.

At a glance

Activities in capital Kabul.
Rehabilitation of hydropower plants Mahipar and Sarobi
Commissioned by:
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW)
Implementing organisations:
KfW Development Bank
Programme objective:
Contributing to securing and improving Kabul's energy supply. Thereby, the basis for increasing economic and social activities is created.
Overall term:
Hydropower plant rehabilitation: 2002 – 2014; Provision and installation of spare parts: 2013 – 2017