By: Muhammad Tariq Rana
Islamabad: In partnership with the United States Government, the Managing Director of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) inaugurated the Patrind Power Transmission Project today. This mutual investment from the United States and Pakistan will add 147 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectric capacity to Pakistan’s National Energy Grid. The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supported the effort by constructing transmission lines and upgrading grid stations in the Azad Kashmir/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) region. This effort will ultimately strengthen private sector investments in clean-energy projects.
With this NTDC and USAID investment, Patrind is now selling electricity to the national grid and repaying its debt and equity obligations.
This achievement demonstrates that with strategic government support, the energy sector can be a driver of local and national economic growth.
“The U.S. Government is partnering with the Government of Pakistan to strengthen Pakistan’s energy sector and make it more competitive through the use of sustainable energy sources like hydroelectricity,” said USAID Mission Director Julie Koenen. “Working with the Government of Pakistan, we have supported infrastructure projects, operational improvements, and policy reforms to help the energy sector function more efficiently and sustainably. These efforts are helping Pakistan meet the needs of its growing population and economy.”
Since 2010, USAID has partnered with the Government of Pakistan to add more than 3,600 MW to the national grid. These investments are benefitting more than 43 million Pakistanis, reducing costs for energy distribution companies by $429 million, and leveraging more than $2.3 billion in private investment. USAID has also supported the construction of new transmission lines and substations to evacuate power from wind power projects to the national grid, as well as rehabilitated thermal and hydroelectric power plants.
To ensure Pakistan’s future energy security, the U.S. Government will provide technical assistance to improve planning processes and operational procedures, introduce new technologies, and transition toward a competitive market structure with more participation by private sector companies.