ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the World Bank (WB) have signed a loan agreement on Tuesday, under which WB will provide $200 million in assistance for the Natural Gas Efficiency Project to enhance over all gas supply in the country.
The financing agreement was signed by Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan and WB Country Director Rachid Benmessaoud; while the project agreement was signed by Benmessaoud and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) Company Secretary Yusuf J Ansari.
The project will be implemented by SSGC and aims to enhance the supply of natural gas in Pakistan by reducing physical and commercial losses in the pipeline system and improving the operational capacity of SSGC. The project will help reduce un-accounted for gas in the gas distribution system by ensuring system segmentation and pressure management, pipe replacement and repair, cathodic protection, and advanced metering systems.
Another component of the project is the Appliance Efficiency Pilot Project, which will finance modern, energy-efficient gas appliances, and also retrofit appliance components for residential consumers in a pilot project. A third component of the project involves technical assistance to SSGC for improvements in its organisational capacity, customer orientation, and project management.
The project will primarily be implemented in Sindh and Balochistan, which have the highest incidence of gas theft. Under the project, a 5,750 kilometre long pipeline will be repaired in order to prevent leakages. The pipeline will also be installed with sophisticated monitoring equipment to reduce the incidence of theft.
The project will be completed by June 2017, and on completion will help increase the supply of gas to consumers, maintain adequate gas pressure, ensure better service delivery and improve SSGC’s efficiency. In addition, the project will help curtail emission of greenhouse gases through avoidance of direct methane gas leakages into the atmosphere.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Masood said the project will enhance overall performance of SSGC in gas distribution and help mitigate energy problems in the country. In his remarks, Benmessaoud assured the SSGC of World Bank’s full support in implementing the project, while Ansari thanked the government and the World Bank for providing the assistance.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2012.
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