The World Bank has assured Pakistan that it will consider financial assistance for more mega hydroelectric and wind power projects and will continue its support for ongoing water and power projects.
World Bank’s Country Director for Pakistan Rachid Benmessaoud stated this during a meeting with Federal Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar on Friday.
Benmessaoud, who was leading a four-member delegation, said the bank was already providing financial assistance for the electricity distribution and transmission improvement project, which would replace existing infrastructure. The bank has allocated $15.6 million in technical assistance for institutional strengthening and capacity-building of power distribution companies.
A pilot project for the installation of advanced metering infrastructure (smart metres) is also being funded by the bank.
He said an agreement for the Tarbela Extension IV project had also been signed with the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), which would be completed in three years and generate an additional 1,300 megawatts.
“The bank fully supports power sector reforms,” he said and assured the minister that the bank would provide assistance for more hydel and wind power projects to resolve the energy crisis.
Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, while citing various mega projects which needed assistance, said the government was taking all possible measures to resolve the energy crisis. These included improvement in recoveries, zero tolerance for defaulters, rehabilitation of generation companies, upfront tariff for wind power, power sector reforms and operation and maintenance of companies through the private sector.
He said more than 2,000 megawatts had been added to the national grid since the present government took over three years ago and work on various hydropower and water projects had started.
Qamar said Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) had been asked to immediately complete the process of hiring an international procurement adviser and the smart metering project.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.
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