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World Bank provides additional funding for 4,320-MW Dasu hydropower project

Indus River
Indus RiverCredit: arsalank2 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The World Bank Board of Directors has approved an additional $700 million of financing to help Pakistan generate low-cost, renewable electricity. The World Bank is also working with the federal and provincial governments to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

WAPDA is implementing the Dasu hydropower project project in two stages – Stage I will contribute more than 12 billion units of electricity per annum to the National Grid. Stage II will provide another 9 billion units to the system every year.

This additional money will finance the transmission line to complete the first phase of the Dasu plant, installing 2,160 MW of capacity along the Indus River. Plans for Stage II expansion will double the installed capacity to 4,320 MW.

“Pakistan’s energy sector is aiming to move away from high-cost and inefficient fossil fuels towards low-cost, renewable energy to power the national grid,” said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “Along with reforms in the tariff structure, the Dasu Hydropower Project will result in fewer imports of fossil fuels, alleviating the stress on the country’s current account balance.”

The project aims to lower the overall cost of energy generation in Pakistan, making electricity more affordable for households and productive sectors. The Dasu hydropower project will produce electricity at $0.03/kWh, compared to Pakistan’s current average of $0.08/kWh. The Dasu plant will provide most of its electricity during summer months to reduce blackouts.

The project will also contribute to the socioeconomic development of the communities in Dasu and surrounding areas of the Upper Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the World Bank says.

Information on the contracts for the hydropower project can be found here.