By Muhammad Luqman
France has signed a credit facility agreement with Pakistan for the provision of soft loan worth 50 million euros for the rehabilitation of Chitral and Darghai Hydel power stations in northern parts of the South Asian country.
Pakistan’s, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Noor Ahmad,. Marc Barety, Ambassador of France, and Jacky Amprou, Country Director of the French Agency for Development (AFD) signed the agreement in the capital Islambad on Friday. France has also agreed to provide grant worth 0.2 million Euros, according to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)>
This funding will allow the modernization of the two hydel power stations and upgrading of their generation capacity from 20 MW to 22 MW for Dargai Hydel Power Station and from 1 MW to 5 MW for Chitral Hydel Power Station.
This will provide adequate facilities for the generation, transmission, and distribution of energy to meet current and future needs of Chitral and Malakand regions. This will also result in industrial, agricultural and economic development of these regions. Besides, rehabilitation and up-gradation of the said hydel power stations will contribute to the Government of Pakistan’s strategy to develop green energy, reduce green house gasses emission which is very much aligned with French Government’s agenda of promoting climate friendly projects.
WAPDA has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for optimal utilization of hydropower resources in Pakistan. Under the strategy, WAPDA has not only initiated new hydropower projects but has also been rehabilitating and upgrading its existing hydel power stations to maximize the ratio of environment friendly and low-cost hydel electricity in the National Grid. Rehabilitation of Dargai and Chitral Hydel Power Stations is part of the said strategy. Dargai Hydel Power Station located in Malakand was constructed in 1952, while Chitral Hydel Power Station located in Chitral was completed in two phases in 1975 and 1982.
By Muhammad Luqman