ADB aids Pakistan hydropower

By Chris Sleight14 October 2011

The Asian Development bank has announced a US$ 97 million loan to help fund the Patrind hydropower plant near Muzaffarabad in northern Pakistan.

The project is being developed by independent power producer (IPP) Star Hydro Power, which is jointly owned by Korea Water Resources Company and Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Sambu Construction. It is the first investment in Pakistan's power sector by a Korean consortium. Under an agreement with the government, the plant will revert to government ownership after 30 years.

The project will be a 147 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme, meaning there will be little or no damming of the river required. ADB principal investment specialist for private sector operations Takeo Koike said, "Shops and factories across Pakistan are having to scale back operations because of electricity shortages. This new, renewable energy generating plant will power businesses and light homes across the country."

According to the ADB, Pakistan's power shortfall is some 4.2 GW at peak demand, which has led to worsening blackouts across the country and the need for power rationing. The ADB also said Pakistan generates most of its energy from imported oil, which is putting a strain on its finances in the face of rising oil prices.

The ADB says the scheme will create 2700 local jobs, adding US$ 240 million to the local economy. It will also reduce carbon emissions by 280000 million tonnes.

The scheme is expected to be completed in 2016.

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