By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan has sought the cooperation of World Bank to upgrade the power transmission system to end the outages that have been very common these days despite the increase in the power generation capacity of the South Asian nation.
World Bank has agreed to provide a loan of US $ 565 million for energy and water sectors. In this regard, an agreement was signed between World Bank and Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Division in capital, Islamabad on Wednesday.
The loan facility will be employed for the modernization of National Transmission infrastructure.
The project will help increase the capacity and reliability of selected segments of the national transmission system in Pakistan and modernize key business processes of the national Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC).
“The project will support investments in high-priority transmission infrastructure, information and communication technology (ICT), and technical assistance for improved management and operations,” according to Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Division officials.
The total Cost of the project is US$536.33 million. The World Bank will finance US$425.0 million and US$111.33m will be borne by the NTDC.
Remaining chunk of the loan i.e. US$140 million will be used to improve the reliability and safety of the Guddu barrage and strengthen the Sindh Irrigation Department’s capacity to operate and manage the barrage.
The additional financing will help to scale up activities under the original project (Sindh Barrages Improvement Project) whose scope at present is limited to rehabilitating and modernizing Guddu Barrage. The project will also support the rehabilitation and modernization of Sukkur Barrage and also support improving the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the three barrages over the Indus River in Sindh Province – Guddu, Sukkur, and Kotri Barrages – through better coordination and monitoring.