The Pentagon spent $43 million on a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan that should have cost about $300,000, according to a special inspector general report released Monday.
“One of the most troubling aspects of this project is that the Department of Defense claims that it is unable to provide an explanation for the high cost of the project or to answer any other questions concerning its planning, implementation, or outcome,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter accompanying the report.
The station in question was built in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, and was meant to show Afghan citizens the viability of natural gas, according to the report. The project, known as the Downstream Gas Utilization, was part of the Task Force for Business & Stability Operations (TFBSO).
The original contract for the station was for $3 million, according to the report.
But between 2011 and 2014, the task force spent $42.7 million on the project, $30 million of which was for overhead costs, according to the report.
SIGAR found a similar natural gas station in Pakistan cost $500,000, which would equal $306,000 at the current exchange rate.
“In short, at $43 million, the TFBSO filling station cost 140 times as much as a CNG station in Pakistan,” the report says.
Read more: The Hill