Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank. Image Credit.Wikimedia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Tuesday that it will provide Pakistan with a $ 300 million loan to support the construction of a 300-megawatt hydropower plant near Balakot.

The government will invest the US $ 175 million in the project. It also asked for a $ 280 million loan to co-finance projects from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. As its aims to improve economic condition better in Asia.

The plant, which incorporates seismic reinforcement and climate-proof measures, will be built on the Kunhar River near the city of Balakot in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and commissioned by 2027.

This project will increase the share of clean energy in Pakistan and improve the country’s energy security as ADP said on Twitter.

According to the details, the hydropower plant will add 1,143-gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually to the country’s energy matrix, increasing the reliability and sustainability of the energy sector.

The project will also help in economic activity and improve the skills of local communities. During construction, the project will generate more than 1,200 jobs, about 40 percent of which will be acquired locally, and will provide for the development of livelihood skills for women.

Pakistan is highly vulnerable to climate change, with water and energy resources particularly at risk from floods, droughts, high temperatures, and other extreme weather events,” said ADB’s top energy expert, Adnan Tareen. “In line with Pakistan’s climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities, this climate-resilient hydropower plant will boost the country’s clean energy generation, while effectively utilizing its vast water resources.”

The plant will also substantially increase the revenue of the state energy development organization Pakhtunkhwa, which is responsible for the operation of hydroelectric plants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This will help to reduce the average daily cargo spill in the province and meet national demand.

Earlier on Monday, the bank and Pakistan had agreed to expand service in various sectors during a virtual meeting between Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar and ADB Central and West Asia Department Director-General Yevgeniy Zhukov.

Bakhtyar appreciated ADB’s role as Pakistan’s trusted development partner, especially in terms of portfolio quality and support, given the country’s emerging needs, which include ADB’s timely support to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.