Following is the text of press release issued by World Bank
The World Bank'sBoard of Executive Directors approved on Tuesday a financing package from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group's grant and low-interest arm, to help expand hydro-electricity generation in Pakistan through the development of the Dasu Hydropower Stage-I Project (DHP-I).
The package consists of an IDA Credit of $588.4 million and an IDA Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG) of $460 million to help mobilize commercial financing for the project.
DHP-I would have 2,160 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant on the main Indus River, which can be expanded to 4,320 MW in future with low additional cost.
The project, in addition to facilitating growth and development in Pakistan, will also help build the Water and Power Development Authority's (WAPDA) capacity to harness the vast hydropower resources of the country in a sustainable manner.
"Dasu Hydropower Project is important for helping the people of Pakistan to reduce their carbon footprint and make electric power generation more sustainable," said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
"The program is an important part of the transformational energy initiative of Pakistan, in which the support from across the World Bank Group is focused on helping Pakistan's energy sector out of its crisis and onto a more sustainable path that supports economic growth."
DHP-I is a run-of-river project located on the Indus River about 240 km upstream from the Tarbela dam, close to Dasu town, in Kohistan district. It is an important element of the government's strategy to restore Pakistan's energy sector to a role that will effectively support long-term economic growth. It is a strategic investment that:
(i) improves energy security and affordability through a structural shift to a low cost, low carbon fuel mix and reduced cost of electricity generation; (ii) reduces the sector deficit and saves foreign exchange of the Government of Pakistan by displacing high cost imported fuel; and (iii) builds the institutional capacity of WAPDA to harness the hydropower potential of the country in a sustainable manner, in particular the development of the Indus Cascade; and (iv) provides a financing and investment model that can be followed for other large hydropower projects in Pakistan.
The direct beneficiaries of DHP would be the millions of energy users, including industry, households and farmers who would get more electricity at lower cost and suffer fewer blackouts. The project would provide more electricity during the summer months when capacity shortages are most severe. Non-users would benefit indirectly because of higher productivity and employment, particularly in the industrial sector.
"Dasu Hydropower Project will kick start the development of the Indus Cascade that is crucial for reducing the overall cost of electricity generation based on domestic resources," said Masood Ahmad, Task Team Leader and Lead Water Resource Specialist. "The Project would provide benefits to most sectors of the economy in Pakistan, and the population as a whole would benefit directly or indirectly."
The DHP-I cost is estimated at about $4.2 billion and the financing plan consists of IDA credits, IDA Partial Credit Guarantees and contributions from WAPDA and the NTDC.
This is the first attempt by the World Bank Group to finance a large infrastructure project on a sequential basis through a combination of credits and guarantees to mobilize the full financing over the construction period.
The credit is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group's grant and low-interest arm. It will be on standard IDA terms, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
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