Pakistan will urge the United States (US) to play a leading role in the arrangement of financing for several multibillion dollars energy projects in a live video energy conference to be held on Tuesday (today). The projects that will come under discussion include the Diamer Bhasha Dam and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
The US is backing the $7.5 billion TAPI gas pipeline project: “The Pakistani side will brief the US team about progress on this project, so as to seek funds from the US,” sources said.
The spokesperson of the US Embassy in Islamabad said that the embassy is facilitating a digital video conference between officials of the two countries on November 27 (today), which will involve officials from the US Department of State in Washington and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in Islamabad. She said the conference has been designed to prepare an agenda for the upcoming Energy Working Group meeting.
The Energy Working Group is a dialogue between officials from both countries, designed to help Pakistan address its energy sector challenges, including generation, fuel, and reform priorities.
“The Energy Working Group will be the third in a series of bilateral working groups convened by the US and Pakistan this quarter to identify shared interests and take concrete steps to address common goals,” the spokesperson said.
“The first video conference with officials from the Ministry of Water and Power took place in October,” the spokesperson informed.
The US has already asked Pakistan to securitise the assets of the Tarbela and Mangla dams, among others, in order to obtain funds from international donors for the multibillion dollar Diamer Bhasha Dam.
Pakistan is facing difficulties in arranging funds for the $13 billion Diamer Bhasha Dam: donors have expressed reluctance to extend loans for the project, purportedly due to Indian lobbying.
Pakistani authorities expect to raise $3 billion by securitising the assets of the Tarbela and Mangla dams, but US officials insist that all the cost of the Diamer Bhasha project should be covered through the securitisation plan.
The US has assured Pakistan that it will play its role in generating the funds to meet the entire cost of the project by becoming part of a financers’ consortium led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Pakistan has already said it wants to shift its focus to electricity generation from its coal resources, and officials have briefed the American team on plans to convert thermal plants to coal in a prior session.
The US is additionally providing assistance in various power sector projects, including the upgradation of the Tarbela power station; the Mangla Dam power house; the Jamshoro, Guddu and Muzaffargarh thermal plants; and is providing funding for the completion of the Gomal Zam Dam and Satpata Dam projects. These energy projects will add nearly 900 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by 2013.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2012.
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We never learn lessons, do we?
How long Pakistani leaders shall hold strongly in their hands the US' aid's begging bowl and when this begging bowl shall break and when Pakistani leaders shall stand Pakistan on its own feet to make Pakistan economically strong,prosperous,self-reliant and sovereign country and how long Pakistan shall depend upon US' aid?
go beg for more... thats what we are famous for.. we are pathological beggars in international market.. another report today say that 88 billion rupees went missing.