Hydel projects get overwhelming response from investors: Pedo

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PESHAWAR: The hydropower generation projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have fetched overwhelming response from domestic and international investors as the Power and Energy Development Organisation (Pedo) has received 65 investment offers for the $2 billion projects in the province.
This was stated by Pedo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Akbar Ayub on Monday. He said scrutiny of the investment proposals would be completed by the end of this month.
He pointed out that Pedo was spearheading the power sector initiative of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The province has a huge hydropower potential of around 30,000 megawatts (MW) which is approximately 50-60 percent of the untapped hydropower potential in Pakistan,” he added.
Akbar Ayub said Pedo had already identified 29 hydro power projects needing an investment of around $12.0 billion.However, he conceded that it was difficult to arrange such huge funds in a short span of time. He said Pedo has embarked on a multipronged strategy to implement these projects on fast track basis.
“We are developing the projects both n the public and private sectors. The work in public sector is already underway with eight projects of 270 MW at different stages of implementation while the private sector initiative has also been launched,” he informed.
The Pedo CEO said the new investor-friendly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydro Power Policy 2016 and guidelines had been put in place to attract investment. He explained that they had advertised six solicited (feasibilities completed) sites and one semi-raw site (feasibility not done) for local and international investment in the private sector.
These projects include Naran (Mansehra 188 MW), Ghorband (Shangla 21 MW), Nandihar (Battagram 12 MW), Arkari Gol (Chitral 99 MW), Shigo Kas (Lower Dir 102 MW) and Batakundi (Mansehra 96 MW) needing an overall investment amount of approximately US$ 1.5 billion. The semi-raw site Sharmai (Dir 150 MW) would entail an approximate project cost of $0.5 billion.
These seven projects in total would generate 668 MW with an investment amount of $2.0 billion, he added.Akbar Ayub informed that even in the pre-qualification stage the six solicited sites received overwhelming response from the private sector submitting 56 proposals.
The Pedo, he said, intended to offer more projects to private sector once the process of award of the current projects is completed to overcome the energy shortfall in the country at the shortest possible time.
Mentioning Pedo’s achievements with regard to the micro hydel projects, he said over 70 of the 356 micro hydel in the northern districts had started producing power and were providing energy to rural population of the province. “These are community-based projects that are being handed over to community-based organisations for operation and maintenance,” he added.
“The projects will provide cheap and clean source of electricity to almost 350,000 people. The provincial government has authorised to enhance these to 1,000 projects to serve one million people,” the Pedo chief said.
He informed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was also providing technical assistance and funding to the Pedo for various projects.