United States Agency for International Development assures to support power sector

Islamabad, June 12, 2013 (PPI-OT): A four member delegation of USAID lead by Jonathan M. Conly called on the Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif here today and discussed various matters of mutual cooperation in power sector and technical assistance initiatives for power projects.

The Minister while welcoming the delegation appreciated US cooperation and assistance being extended to the power sector and said that it would help to improve the efficiency of the public sector power entities.

The Minister observed that construction of dams, run of river hydel projects and coal energy generation projects are solution to energy crisis on sustainable basis .He said it was priority of the government to reduce load shedding on priority and increase in the generation.

The government has planned to change the energy mix and to convert the existing thermal power plants on imported coal. Run of river projects have also been identified. He said that reduction in line losses and eradication of power theft are also the major targets.

The Discos would be given autonomy and reforms process would be continue. Mr. Asif said that the circular debt issue would alos be resolved on permanent basis. He also agreed the proposal to make one Disco as Model Disco.

Mr. Jonathan Conley, USAID Country Head said that United States and Pakistan together are carrying out large-scale energy projects. These projects include renovating the power plant at the Tarbela Dam: modernizing the generators of the Mangla Dam: upgrading the Guddu, Jamshoro and Muzafargarh power plants and construction of Gomal Zam Dam and Satpara dam, Kurram Tangi and Diamer Basha dam projects.. He informed that 1700 capacitors and 130 energy pumps and 4900 meters for advanced metering system for real time data have been installed.

The reforms are focused both on reducing technical losses on the power grid and on increasing receivables. A five year USAID funded programme of 853 million dollars is already under progress which aims to improve the performance of Discos in terms of reduction in losses and improvement in revenues and customer services to bring them at par with best global practices, he maintained. He said that US is committed to work with the Government of Pakistan towards a brighter future for the people of Pakistan.

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