In yet another significant development, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) secured Rs 144 billion for Dasu Hydropower Project by signing an agreement of local debt financing with a consortium of major local banks led by Habib Bank Limited (HBL). This is by far the biggest single loan agreement for any public sector entity in the history of Pakistan. The agreement signing ceremony was held here at WAPDA House on Wednesday.
WAPDA Chairman Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain (R), HBL President Nauman Dar, National Bank (NBP) President, Saeed Ahmed Khan and representatives of other banks in the consortium signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations. WAPDA Member (Finance), Member (Power) and senior officers of WAPDA and the banks also attended the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, WAPDA chairman said that today is a historical day regarding arrangement of funds for development of hydropower resources in Pakistan.
He expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and Federal Ministries’ for Water and Power and Finance for their support to arrange finances for Dasu Hydropower Project. He said that today’s agreement reflects the confidence of financial institutions on the financial strength of WAPDA. The chairman apprised the audience that the 4320MW Dasu Hydropower Project will be completed in two stages – each of them having generation capacity of 2160MW on River Indus in Kohsitan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Stage-I will be completed in five years with an estimated cost of US $4.2 billion. The World Bank is providing a credit of US $1 billion, while remaining funds are being arranged by WAPDA from its own resources and with help of the sovereign guarantee of Government of Pakistan. Apart from the local financing of Rs 144 billion, a foreign loan to the tune of US $350 million has also been finalised and an agreement to this effect will be signed very soon.
Referring to the under construction projects of WAPDA in water and hydropower sectors, the chairman said that with concerted efforts during the last six months, the impediments in the way to completion of these projects have been removed and these projects are now fast approaching towards their completion. Besides completing Phase-I of Kachhi Canal in August-December 2017, which will irrigate 72,000 areas of land in backward areas of Balochistan, WAPDA will also complete the 969MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, the 1410MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project and the 106MW Golen Gol Hydropower Project in a phased manner from end 2017 to mid 2018. The low cost hydel electricity to be added to the national grid through these projects will not only help overcome electricity in the country but also contribute significantly for development of economic and social sectors in Pakistan, he added. Later, HBL and NBP presidents also spoke about the local debt financing for Dasu Hydropower Project.