Asian Development Bank (ADP) and Pakistan Government signed an agreement of $300 million loan on Friday for the construction of a hydropower project in Balakot Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The total cost of the project is $655 million out of which ADP offered $300 million and $280 million will be provided by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
According to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Omar Ayub Khan, the hydropower project in Balakot will be constructed on the Kunhar River in the Mansehra set to generate 300-megawatt electricity.
The project will unleash the hydropower potential in Pakistan by generating clean and affordable electricity.
“The government is working on renewable energy policy to harness the immense potential in solar, wind and hydel resources and have good opportunities for investments,” Omar Ayub Khan added.
During the construction of the Balakot hydropower project, 1,200 new jobs will be created, about 40 percent of which will be sourced locally.
“The Balakot hydropower project will play an important role in helping to advance this objective. ADB will continue to support Pakistan to diversify its energy sources, implement critical reforms, increase energy security, and grow the share of clean power in its energy mix,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia, Yevgeniy Zhukov.
It is to be noted that ADB has helped Pakistan undertake a wide range of energy-generation initiatives and public and private sector-led clean energy development projects.
The Energy & Power Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be the executing agency while Pakhtunkhwa Energy Department Organization (PEDO) will be implementing agency for the project which is expected to be commissioned by 2026.