ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan on Thursday signed funding agreements for the $ 195 million Electricity Distribution Efficiency Improvement Project with the World Bank.
Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division signed the loan agreement on behalf of the government of Pakistan, while representatives of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) and of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) signed the project agreements.
Anjum Ahmad, Director of Operations, World Bank signed the agreements on behalf of the World Bank.
The objectives of the project are to improve operational efficiency in the targeted areas of three electricity distribution companies, namely Hesco, Mepco, Pesco, and to advance the reform program of the electricity sector.
The âElectricity Distribution Efficiency Improvement Projectâ aims to support the investment programs of three DISCOs to improve the reliability of electricity supply and reduce technical losses through; (a) new network stations; (b) expansion and modernization of existing network stations; (c) construction, rehabilitation of transmission lines, modernization of DISCO operations and management functions, income and equipment protection program, and improvement of operations and maintenance.
The project will also help the Electricity Division to fulfill its political mandate under the National Electricity Policy, 2021 and to implement reforms in the electricity sector.
Interventions within the framework of the project aim specifically to improve the governance, technical capacities, security and commercial performance of DISCOs to better serve their customers.
Electricity distribution, energy reforms: the board of directors of the WB approves a financing of 195 million dollars
The project will also support the Ministry of Energy (Electricity Division) in the implementation of reforms in the electricity sector, strengthening its monitoring function and strengthening private participation in the management of DISCOs. .
It will also help to focus on growth by improving the electricity supply to businesses, industry and agricultural consumers. It also contributes significantly to the achievement of the objectives of the Green and Clean Pakistan focal area.
The EAD Secretary appreciated the leadership of the World Bank for its continued support to the current government to promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.
On occasion, the EAD secretary has said that even in difficult times, the Pakistani government has focused on implementing structural reforms, so that the economy regains strength.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to further strengthen the implementation of reforms, including comprehensive reforms of the electricity sector with a strong focus on reducing current and future costs of electricity, reducing electricity dependence on imported fossil fuels, increasing renewable energies, tackling inefficiencies in distribution and reducing subsidies in the sector by better targeting them on those who need them most.
The World Bank Board of Directors last week approved $ 195 million in funding to help Pakistan improve electricity distribution and implement energy sector reforms to improve quality of service for consumers. consumers.
âThe long-term financial viability of the electricity sector depends on improving the efficiency of the electricity distribution companies that provide electricity to consumers,â said Najy Benhassine, country director of the Bank. world for Pakistan.
“These efforts will improve the operational and financial performance of some distribution companies in order to improve their bankability and, ultimately, generate greater participation from the private sector.”
âThe project will focus on strengthening the operations and governance of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Multan Electric Power Company and Peshawar Electric Supply Company,â said Mohammad Saqib, project team leader.
âUnder the leadership of the Ministry of Energy, this project will strengthen market sector reforms, reduce transmission and distribution losses, and improve the financial performance of the sector. “
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021