By Muhammad Luqman
Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced its plans to invest $2 billion in Pakistan’s energy sector over the next three years.
The announcement was made after an ADB team lead by Director General for Central and West Asia Department Werner Liepach met with Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar in the capital, Islamabad.
According to a statement released by the Power Division, “ADB remains [Pakistan’s] top energy sector partner with $2.1 billion portfolio with $300 million released this week for sector reform including addressing the circular debt.”
During the meeting, projects funded by ADB in the energy sector were discussed and it was decided that a “comprehensive review meeting” be held at the end of the month between the Power Division and ADB “to steer the projects to their logical culmination”.
Both sides also agreed to “maximum transparency” during the execution of the projects, according to the press release.
The ADB also showed an interest in “facilitating technical studies for the gas storage facility in Pakistan”. “During a later stage, the ADB can also consider financing the project,” said Liepach.
The ADB team was briefed regarding a ‘New Renewable Energy Policy’ which will be put before the Council of Common Interest (CCI) in its scheduled meeting by the end of this month.
“The team was briefed regarding various steps taken by the Power Division to boost the efficiency of the system and campaign against power theft,” said the Power Division’s statement.
The ADB was informed that in pursuing the circular debt capping plan, the Power Division had brought about a “considerable reduction in its growth from Rs39bn to Rs12bn per month”.
“The ADB team expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Power Division and termed the efforts positive for the sector’s growth,” the statement concluded by saying.