ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday signed an agreement to invest $245 million on improving the country’s power distribution systems.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Nargis Sethi and ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Dr. Werner E. Liepach signed the loan agreement.
“The investment will help upgrade Pakistan’s aging power distribution
infrastructure allowing power generated to reach the consumers,” said Werner Leapach, while speaking on the occasion.
“These power projects to be completed by June 2016 will augment the network and improve performance of the power distribution system, which is critical to increase the overall energy efficiency and to bridge the widening energy gap in Pakistan,” he added.
The loan is meant for Tranche-3 of the Power Distribution Enhancement
Investment Program under the Multi-tranche Financing Facility (MFF).
The MFF was approved in 2008 to invest $810 million ($800 million OCR and $10 million ADF) in priority areas to improve distribution systems and help Pakistan meet its pressing energy needs.
The programme aims to rehabilitate, augment and expand power distribution systems and remove system bottlenecks.
“Success of the project depends on effective and timely implementation; therefore, we will continue to focus on timely completion of the power distribution enhancement projects,” said Nargis Sethi.
She urged the agencies and distribution companies involved to make sure that the targets are achieved within the implementation timeframe.
Senior Project Officer (Energy) at ADB’s Pakistan office, Adnan Tareen said the project would add 1,881 megavolt-amperes (MVA) of transformer capacity, 791 kilometers (km) of new transmission lines and up-gradation of 399 km of the existing transmission lines, which would bring stability in the distribution network.
The first tranche of $252 million ($242 million OCR and $10 million ADF) and second tranche of $242 million were released on January 13, 2009 and 28 January 2011, respectively.
Under the existing four MFFs, the ADB is investing $2.9 billion in Pakistan’s power sector over a ten year period (2008-2017).
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members — 48 from the region.