ISLAMABAD:  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an $810 million multi-tranche financing facility to develop Pakistan's power transmission system, to improve the reliability and quality of energy supply, and to meet increasing demand for electricity.

 Megan Wolf, Energy Specialist with ADB’s Central and West Asia Department said that “A reliable and sustainable power sector is critical to the economic growth and wellbeing of Pakistan”. He said fast implementation of this facility and related reforms to alleviate power shortages will improve the prospects for the economy.”

He said the loan facility will help fund the staged rehabilitation and expansion of the transmission network, increasing transmission capacity, energy efficiency and security. It will also support government efforts to  develop a more transparent and efficient power sector by promoting reforms  in the National Transmission and Dispatch Company Limited, and the  sector’s newly established commercial operator, the Central Power  Purchasing Agency (Guarantee) Limited. ADB’s facility will be delivered in tranches, implemented from 2016 to 2026.

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, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including co-financing of $10.7 billion.

Energy specialist said that power shortages are a major obstacle in Pakistan’s economic development.

ADB’s assistance is helping the government address the persistent energy crisis through Vision 2025, Pakistan’s comprehensive plan for economic growth. The plan aims to increase power generation, provide uninterrupted electricity to all, and improve demand management.