‘USAID initiatives to add 1400MW to national grid’

* USAID Energy Office director says his govt will continue to support Pakistan in improving electricity distribution network
AFP

ISLAMABAD: The USAID has funded the renovation at the Tarbela, Jamshoro, Mangla, Guddu and Muzaffargarh power plants, which is expected to add a cumulative total of 1400 megawatts to Pakistan’s national grid by the end of 2014.
The USAID has also aided the completion of Gomal Zam and Satpara dams, and helped improve power distribution throughout Pakistan as part of the US government’s energy sector assistance programme.
USAID Energy Office Director Michael Curtis said this while addressing a certificate distribution ceremony of the most recent batch of the graduate trainees. 
The training courses were conducted under a project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Speaking on the occasion, he said that over 100 experienced linemen lose their lives and the same numbers of linemen are severely disabled every year in Pakistan.
The United States government is helping save the lives of thousands of linemen who work for Pakistan’s electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) through a safety-training programme, he said.
“Effective operations and maintenance of the distribution network depends heavily on linemen,” Curtis added. 
To help save lives and improve safety of linemen, the United States, through the USAID, developed training programmes for DISCO linemen, staff, and senior management. 
The sessions are designed to instil a culture of safety and by so doing reduce deaths, which represent an irreplaceable loss to families and also cause significant losses to distribution companies. “The US government will continue to support Pakistan in bringing improvements in the electricity distribution network to improve availability and reliability for consumers,” said Curtis.
The USAID has trained more than 2,000 linemen in this programme and has helped DISCOs offer these trainings to another 9,000 linemen. The USAID also provided training to 150 DISCO officials who will be implementing the safety programmes in Pakistani DISCOs. 
The programme helps government-owned electric power distribution companies to improve their performance, reduce losses, increase revenues, and enhance customer service.
These efforts are part of a broad US government energy sector assistance program for Pakistan that aims to increase its electricity output to benefit about 16 million people throughout the country by 2014. 

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