Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of 325 million $ to help boost energy security in Pakistan by helping to install clean energy sources and improve people’s access to electricity in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK) and Punjab, two of the largest provinces of the country.
$325 Million Huge Sum
The Asian Development Bank is also providing technical assistance grant of $ 750,000 to develop the capacity and improve program performance monitoring.
“The project will help meet the growing demand for energy to fuel economic activities and increasing access to sustainable electricity services and more reliable, especially in vulnerable communities in the KPP and Punjab,” said Adnan Tareen, energy specialist with the Regional Department for West and Central Asia and the Asian Development Bank.
“It will increase opportunities for women and girls in the access to energy services and benefits, especially for families headed by women.”
Lack of energy is one of the issues that hinder development efforts and poverty reduction in Pakistan, especially in rural areas, where only 57% have access to electricity.
Although Pakistan has renewable energy resources and non-renewable and abundant, and has been public and private investment in energy infrastructure is insufficient, the system suffers from low efficiency of the generation of networks, transmission and distribution.
The KPP, with a population of more than 28 million people, is one of the poorest provinces in Pakistan and some neighborhoods electrification rate is less than 20%. At the same time the Punjab, a province with the largest population in Pakistan, consumes about 68% of the electricity and gas in the country.
The economy is largely dependent on agriculture and industry, and depends largely on the power supply depends on it. Geographical limitations make the extension of the national electricity grid to these remote areas is expensive and difficult technically.
In these areas, the least expensive option is off-grid renewable energy sources. The program will install solar power plants including the construction of 1,000 small hydroelectric power plants (MHPs) in off-grid areas of KPP.
It will also supply and installation of solar power plants on the surface and 23,000 schools for more than 2,500 primary health care facilities in two provinces and universities in Bahawalpur, Punjab. Will MHPs and solar power plants provide electricity to about 1.5 million people in rural areas and more than 2.6 million students, including 1.2 million girls.
The program to strengthen local government capacity to improve the sustainability of the program, through the strengthening of surveillance, procurement and internal audit capabilities, and enhancing the efficiency of energy use in the public sector.
The loan is part of a commitment to the Asian Development Bank announced last year to double annual funding climate to 6 billion $ for Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Of the total loans for the project, and will be allocated 16 million $ for the activities of adaptation to climate change and $ 247 million to ease from climate change activities.