Pakistani prime minister inaugurates country’s first independent hydropower project

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif helped officially inaugurate the country’s first the country’s first privately-owned hydropower project earlier today, Asian news sources report.

Sharif, elected earlier this year on a platform devoted in large part to resolving Pakistan’s load shedding problems, said the 84-MW New Bong hydroelectric plant is a step toward energy security.

The project is owned by a subsidiary of the Hub Power Company (Hubco) called Laraib Energy Ltd., with power being sold to Pakistan’s National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) under a 25-year power-purchase agreement.

Officials said they hope the project will pave the way for more private investments into Pakistan’s hydropower sector, with only 6,500 MW of an estimated 100,000 MW of potential left untapped.

The project is also reported as being the country’s first hydropower project to be registered under the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change as a Clean Development Mechnism (CDM).

HydroWorld.com reported in May that IBM had been selected to provide automation software for the US$235 million project.

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