France gives Rs 8.5bn for two hydropower projects


ISLAMABAD: Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Nargis Sethi, French Ambassador to Pakistan Philippe Thiébaud and Denis Cassat, French Development Agency’s country director for Pakistan, on Wednesday signed the Credit Facility Agreements (CFAs) for establishment of two hydropower projects in Pakistan. 
This financing aims at completing the two projects – Mohmand/Munda Hydropower project and Harpo hydropower project – with a total capacity of 785-MW. The Mohmand/Munda Hydropower project (740-MW) is located in Mohmand Agency, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Phase- I of the project being financed by the AFD will enable the government to complete a detailed engineering design, preparatory work and financial closure for construction of the project. The Harpo hydropower project (35-MW) located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Skardu region, will enable the government to meet the future power demand of the region, and to establish a local distribution and transmission network that will benefit the local community with uninterrupted power supply. This project is being financed by the German government and Kfw. 
Upon their completion, the two projects will ensure adaptation of climate change (droughts and floods) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, notably in the Peshawar and Nowshera region. It will also improve the resilience, safety and profitability of the two hydropower projects.
Besides, the projects would address the current national energy crisis and emerge as a major contributor in line with the pledge made by the French government at the Tokyo Conference in April 2009 (Euros300 million in the energy and water sectors – currently committed at 93 percent, ie, Euros280 million).
The AFD is also supporting development of renewable energies in order to improve power supply in Pakistan. At present, three projects are being developed: Jabban Hydropower project (22-MW run-of-river hydroelectric power plant near Dargai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a cost of Euros 26.5 million; Jaggran-II Hydropower projects (48 MW run-of-river hydroelectric power plant on Jaggran River, Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, at a cost of Euros 68 million); and Hydropower Training Institute (HPTI) at Mangla with a grant of Euros 2.5 million, to establish the centre of excellence for hydropower in Pakistan. The AFD is also co-financing with the Asian Development Bank a programme on energy efficiency in the domestic and industrial sectors to reduce power demand and improve energy efficiency. For future, the AFD is also working with Pakistani authorities to explore additional potential projects to fund the rehabilitation or the extension of hydropower plants in the various areas in association with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and provincial operators, such as the Power Development Organization (PDO), Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Pakhtunkhwa Hydel Development Organization (PHYDO), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, etc.

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