Pakistan: ADB to invest $2 billion in energy sector

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By Muhammad
Luqman

Manila-based
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced its plans to invest $2 billion in Pakistan’s
energy sector over the next three years.

The
announcement was made after an ADB team lead by Director General for Central
and West Asia Department Werner Liepach met with Federal Minister for Power
Omar Ayub Khan and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem
Babar in the capital, Islamabad.

According to
a statement released by the Power Division, “ADB remains [Pakistan’s] top
energy sector partner with $2.1 billion portfolio with $300 million released
this week for sector reform including addressing the circular debt.”

During the
meeting, projects funded by ADB in the energy sector were discussed and it was
decided that a “comprehensive review meeting” be held at the end of
the month between the Power Division and ADB “to steer the projects to
their logical culmination”.

Both sides
also agreed to “maximum transparency” during the execution of the
projects, according to the press release.

The ADB also
showed an interest in “facilitating technical studies for the gas storage
facility in Pakistan”. “During a later stage, the ADB can also consider
financing the project,” said Liepach.

The ADB team
was briefed regarding a ‘New Renewable Energy Policy’ which will be put before
the Council of Common Interest (CCI) in its scheduled meeting by the end of
this month.

“The team
was briefed regarding various steps taken by the Power Division to boost the
efficiency of the system and campaign against power theft,” said the Power
Division’s statement.

The ADB was
informed that in pursuing the circular debt capping plan, the Power Division
had brought about a “considerable reduction in its growth from Rs39bn to
Rs12bn per month”.

“The
ADB team expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Power Division and
termed the efforts positive for the sector’s growth,” the statement
concluded by saying.

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