Islamabad, April 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): A four member delegation of USAID led by Jonathan M. Conly called on the Federal Minister for Water and Power. Dr. Musadik Malik here today and discussed various matters of cooperation in power sector, improvements in Discos and financing 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. He briefed on the current energy situation and said Pakistan is passing through an energy deficiency regime which is causing huge loss to the national economy. There is unease in cities and towns due to electricity outages.
The caretaker government is trying its level best to reduce the crisis and provide relief to the people. “We have identified problems in generation, pilferage, transmission and distribution losses, inefficiency and mismanagement are major causes of the crisis,” he added. As a short term solution to reduce the hours of load shedding, Ministry of Water and Power has planned to shift the resources from inefficient plants to efficient plants by providing them oil and gas to generate additional 1000 MW.
The government has been asked to provide 150 billion rupees and 150 mmcfd gas to run the efficient power plants on maximum capacity. Mr. Malik informed that the allocations of oil and gas would be uploaded on website and made public. Performance guarantee agreements would also be signed with the CEOs of Discos.
The Minister observed that construction of dams, run of river hydel projects, coal and alternative energy generation projects are solution to energy crisis on sustainable basis. The US participation in these projects would ease the situation.
Mr. Jonathan Conley, USAID Country Head said that United States and Pakistan together are carrying out large-scale energy projects, that will add 900 MW of capacity to the power grid by the end 2013.These projects include renovating the power plant at the Tarbela Dam: modernizing the generators of the Mangla Dam: upgrading the Guddu, Jamshoro and Muzaffargarh power plants and construction of Gomal Zam Dam. US technical assistance is also supporting crucial policy and management reforms underway in Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power.
The reforms are focused both on reducing technical losses on the power grid and on increasing receivables. A five year USAID funded programme 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.
USAID will provide global expertise to give input on short term relief measures and long term ongoing commentary be added. 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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Haji Ahmed Malik
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