PESHAWAR: A delegation of the European Investment Bank, headed by its Vice President Magdalena Alverez Arza, today visited Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project.
Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali and Chairman WAPDA Syed Raghib Abbas Shah also accompanied the delegation during their visit.
The 128 MW Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project is being constructed by WAPDA on a tributary of Indus River in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The project with an estimated cost of 240 million Euros is being jointly funded by the European Investment Bank, the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Government of Pakistan. The European Investment Bank and KfW are providing 100 million euros and 97 million euros respectively for construction of the project.
Welcoming the delegation at the project site, the minister of state for water and power said that the delegation’s visit to the project is a manifestation of deepening cooperation among the European Union, Germany and Pakistan. He said that Pakistan greatly values the financial assistance being provided by the European Investment Bank and KfW for Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project. He expressed the hope that the mutual cooperation for other power sector projects will be further enhanced in the days to come.
The minister of state for water and power apprised the delegation that with a view to making Pakistan energy-secure, the present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has worked out a least-cost electricity generation strategy that aims to harness indigenous resources, the vast hydel potential in particular. He said that the Ministry of Water and Power through WAPDA is working on medium and long term plans to add low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid to improve the energy mix in favour of hydel, help rationalize the power tariff and ultimately provide relief to the consumers as committed by the prime minister.
The government is not only arranging funds from its own resources but also reaching out to friendly countries and international financial institutions for arrangement of financing for power sector projects, the minister added. He further said that Pakistan’s energy sector presents lucrative investment opportunities and the government has been fully facilitating the investors both foreign and local.
Briefing the delegation, Chairman WAPDA told that the preliminary works on Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project i.e. construction of offices, colony and roads are already in progress, while the contractor for main works of the project will mobilize to the site very soon. He further said that the project is scheduled to be completed in four years and will provide 426 million units of low-cost hydel electricity per annum to the national grid.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice President of the European Investment Bank said that Keyal Khwar is the fifth project supported by the European Investment Bank in Pakistan. The European Investment Bank intends to explore ways and means to finance other projects of renewable energy in Pakistan, she further said.
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