ADB okays $250m for power networks


ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday announced that it had approved $250 million in loans to Pakistan for improving its power transmission network in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ensure reliable electricity supply.

The project is aimed at helping the country achieve national grid stability, energy security, climate resilience and increased transmission capacity to deploy sufficient, reliable, clean, and cost-effective energy for sustainable economic growth.

It is designed for enhanced management of the national transmission system of Pakistan by expanding the high-voltage transmission network in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces to close 500 kilovolt (kV) and 220 kV transmission lines loops and reducing transmission losses in Lahore through replacement of the old transmission lines.

The project also seeks to support the prioritised government reform of state-owned enterprises by enhancing the institutional, financial management, climate-resilient system planning and operation, and project management capacity of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC). It will attempt mainstreaming gender at NTDC’s corporate and project levels and increasing income-earning opportunities and skills for local communities focusing on women and building capacity and awareness on climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation measures.

“Reliable power supply is essential to inclusive, sustainable economic growth, and it will also provide economic opportunities to rural communities,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov, according to a statement issued by the Manila-based lending agency. “We are pleased to continue supporting Pakistan in its efforts to achieve energy security while improving energy efficiency.”

The project will complement ADB’s ongoing support to the NTDC aimed at ensuring energy security, climate resilience, and increased transmission capacity to deploy sufficient, reliable, clean, and cost-effective energy. Improving the management of the national transmission system of Pakistan is another key objective, the statement said.

“To promote gender equality and women’s involvement in the energy sector, ADB will develop guidelines for mentorships, conduct awareness campaigns, establish childcare centres, and provide technical training to female staff in the NTDC,” said ADB Senior Energy Specialist Takhmina Mukhamedova.

“This project also includes livelihood skills development for women in the project areas to improve their economic opportunities, and training for local communities to enable them to respond to climate-induced natural hazards,” she was quoted as saying.

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