World Bank to provide more than $1bn for Pakistan hydropower schemes

The World Bank has agreed to provide $1.15bn to fund two power projects in Pakistan.

The agreement was signed by Noor Ahmed, secretary of the Pakistan government’s Economic Affairs Division, and Najy Benhassine, the bank’s country director for Pakistan.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister, who commented: "This environment-friendly power generation will not only support our efforts for clean and green Pakistan but also diminish the impacts of global warming."

Some $450m will go to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development project, which the bank says will help Pakistan’s use more renewable energy and cut the cost of electricity production.

It sees two dams built – the 157MW Madyan dam and the 88MW Gabral-Kalam dam – as well as possible solar projects.

The rest of the money will fund a transmission line from the Dasu Dam, a massive gravity dam under construction on the Indus River in the Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (see picture). When the first stage is complete, in early 2025, it is expected to generate up to 2.2GW of electricity, although the eventual capacity will be 4.3GW.

The transmission line, to be built by Pakistan National Transmission & Despatch Company, will be a 765kV double-circuit cable running to Islamabad.

The World Bank will provide $700m to this scheme, alongside the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ($1.5bn), Deutsche Bank ($1bn) and Aga Khan Development Network ($500m).

Benhassine commented in September, when the bank approved the loans, that the project would help Pakistan "become a low-carbon, renewable energy-reliant economy by 2030".

Image: Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority’s rendering of the Dasu Dam, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

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  1. Pakistan have great potential in hydropower which can be exploited intelligibly and can paved way to initiate other development economic activities.

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