LAHORE: Pakistan has a potential of generating about 100,000 megawatts (MW) of hydel electricity and to harness this potential, Pakistan will need to raise billions of dollars.
Pakistan’s top hydel development project is Diamer Basha and the United States has agreed to work with us, as we examine our options on how to raise the billions of dollars that are needed to make Diamer Basha and other hydel projects a reality. Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Ragib Shah and Jonathan Conly Finanacial Director and Assistance Coordinator Richard Albright of USAID discussed financial plan for water and hydropower projects.
The United States is one of WAPDA’s major donors, as during the past four years, USAID has provided over $300 million to support the modernisation of equipment at Tarbela and Mangla, completion of the multipurpose dams and irrigation systems of Gomal Zam and Satpara. These investments are made to increase electricity supplies, provide water for irrigating over 200,000 acres of land and controlling floods in Pakistan. Diamer Basha Dam could add as much as 4,500 MW to the power grid and provide critical water storage capacity-6.7 million acre-feet for the country. Shah said the United States and many other international donors have supported WAPDA, as we have successfully harnessed our rivers to power economic growth. – DailyTimes