ISLAMABAD: French Development Agency (AFD) would consider providing assistance to Pakistan in installing solar-powered tube wells in Balochistan and establishing a renewable energy institute under its development programme for the current calendar year, said the French envoy.
Meeting Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari on Monday, Ambassador Marc Barety praised efforts of Pakistan’s government for bringing about improvement in the power sector.
He called the progress made in the power sector exemplary while disclosing that many French companies associated with the energy business were taking keen interest in Pakistan.
“AFD will definitely study as to how it can provide assistance in the installation of solar tube wells in Balochistan to provide off-grid solutions besides reducing the circular debt,” he said.
The power minister, while elaborating on the recent power-sector reforms initiated by the government, said French companies should explore the fast growing energy sector of Pakistan for better returns. “Areas related to consumer services by power distribution companies provide a good opportunity for the investors,” he said. The minister also highlighted the government’s move to design a new energy policy and electricity plan.
Talking about the renewable energy institute, Leghari said US and Danish governments were sharing their experience for setting up the institute. He also invited the French government and AFD to provide assistance for establishing the institute that would promote renewable and clean energy production in the country.
He told the French ambassador that with the passage of Nepra Amendment bill in the National Assembly, an energy trade market would be established in Pakistan. “Energy trade will ultimately benefit the consumers,” he said.
He emphasised that the government had been pursuing policies to diminish its role in the power sector and promote market forces in order to safeguard the interests of consumers and also tackle chronic issues like circular debt.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2018.