Islamabad, Mar 30 (PTI) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday announced that it has approved a USD 300 million loan to finance the construction of a 300-megawatt hydropower plant in northwestern Pakistan to boost clean energy and improve the country's energy security.
The project will be undertaken on the Kunhar river near Balakot city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and will increase the share of clean energy in Pakistan and improve its energy security.
'The plant will add 1,143 gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually to the country’s energy mix, enhancing the energy sector’s reliability and sustainability,” the Philippines-based bank said in a statement.
The plant, which will incorporate seismic strengthening and climate-proofing measures, will be commissioned by 2027.
'Pakistan is highly vulnerable to climate change, with water resources and energy particularly at risk from floods, droughts, high temperatures, and other extreme weather events,' said ADB Principal Energy Specialist Adnan Tareen.
'In line with Pakistan's climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities, this climate-resilient hydropower plant will boost the country’s clean energy generation while effectively utilizing its vast water resources.' Balakot Hydropower Plant will also generate economic activity and improve the skills of local communities.
During construction, the project will generate more than 1,200 jobs, about 40% of which will be sourced locally, and provide livelihood skills development for women.
The government will invest USD 175 million in the project. It requested a USD 280 million loan in project co-financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, according to the statement. PTI SH ZH ZH