Balakot Hydropower Project a milestone towards clean, affordable energy: Omar

Mohammad Arshad

Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Friday said that Balakot Hydropower project a milestone towards clean & affordable energy from the government of Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI).

While speaking at a signing of financing agreement of Balakot Hydropower Development Project amounting to $ 300 million, he said that Balakot Hydropower Project will not only help unleash hydropower potential of the country but also improve energy security by increasing clean and affordable energy share in the country’s energy mix.

The loan agreement was signed by Noor Ahmed, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and Cleo Kawawaki, Acting Country Director, ADB.

Total cost of this project is US$ 755 million out of which ADB has committed to provide US$ 300 million while AIIB will provide US$ 280 million.

For this project, ADB is providing financing at highly concessional rates i.e. LIBOR (6-Month) + 0.5% per annum (currently 0.7% per annum) for a period of 27-years including a grace period of 7-years.

Omar Ayub Khan expressed that this run-of-river hydropower project will be constructed on Kunhar River in District Mansehra and generate 300 Megawatt electricity.

“The government is working on renewable energy policy to harness immense potential in solar, wind and hydel resources and have good opportunities for investments”, he added.

The Minister appreciated the ADB’s valuable support for financing this highly important project.

Mahmood Khan, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reiterated that the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is working on development of hydropower potential of the Province on fast track basis.

He mentioned that PTI Government was already making huge investments in development of various hydro sites in the province.

Balakot Hydropower project will provide livelihood by providing more than 1,200 jobs during the construction of the project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Once completed, this hydropower project will provide reliable and cheap energy to national grid.

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