Pakistan’s 84-MW New Bong Escape closes financing

Developers of the 84-MW New Bong Escape project, Pakistan’s first privately financed hydroelectric project, achieved financial close July 2.

Developer Laraib Energy Ltd. now is moving on a fast track to develop the run-of-river project on the Jhelum River in Azad, Jammu and Kashmir State. The project is located at the tail of Bong Canal, a major irrigation canal downstream from 1,000-MW Mangla Dam.

Laraib, a subsidiary of Ranhill Berhad, a Malaysian engineering and utility holding company, completed financing arrangements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which are providing US$37.3 million each, and with two Pakistan banks, National Bank of Pakistan and Habib Bank Ltd., which are providing US$23 million each, for a total US$120.6 million.

An additional US$40.2 million in equity funding is to be supplied by Laraib shareholders for a total project cost of US$160.8 million.

In addition to being Pakistan’s first privately financed hydro project, New Bong Escape also is the first instance of cooperation between ADB and IDB.

Ranhill subsidiary Ranhill Engineering Construction is to be the project’s engineering-procurement-construction contractor. Zhefu of China is to supply four bulb turbine-generators.

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