U.S. Invests $455 Million in Pakistani Water and Energy Projects

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 20, 2010 (ENS) – The United States is assisting Pakistan to develop its renewable energy and water resources. Projects include dams for hydropower, flood control and drinking water; natural gas, wind and biomass developments; solar installations at schools; and a smart grid for the business capital of Karachi.

After the bilateral Strategic Dialogue meeting in Islamabad Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States will provide $60 million for seven energy development projects in addition to $125 million already invested in six energy projects for Pakistan.

In addition, Secretary Clinton announced the seven water projects for Pakistan that will cost over $270 million.

The projects are being implemented by USAID, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Signature Energy Program for Pakistan is designed to help Pakistan meet its energy needs through increasing electricity production and promoting the more efficient usage of electricity. Projects announced Monday for Phase II of the energy program include:

Dam construction on Satpara Lake (Photo by Zain Mankani)
  • Gomal Zam Dam: The U.S. will finish a new dam, power house, and transmission components in South Waziristan to provide an additional 17.4 megawatts of generation capacity to the national grid and electrify 25,000 households serving 200,000 people and have flood control, irrigation and water supply benefits.
  • Satpara Dam: The U.S. will finish a new dam and power house in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan territory, to provide 17.36 MW of new power and energy to the local grid, solving the power supply problem in Skardu. The project will also have drinking water benefits.
  • Natural Gas Assistance: U.S. agencies will assist in identifying and furthering the development of Pakistan’s natural gas resources in order to provide long-term supply security for its electric power plants. U.S. assistance will help Pakistan improve its legal, regulatory, policy and fiscal regime in order to attract greater investment to develop those resources. The U.S. also will invite Pakistan to join the U.S. Global Shale Gas Initiative.
  • Smart Grid and Distribution Modernization Feasibility Study: The U.S. will work with the Karachi Electric Supply Company to conduct a study to determine the viability of an integrated Smart Grid system in Karachi. The project includes the potential for a large Smart Grid pilot project that could help reduce the utility’s electricity losses estimated to reach as high as 40 percent.
  • Biomass-Fueled Boiler Feasibility Study for Bulleh Shah Paper Mill: The U.S. will conduct a feasibility study to determine the best option to convert paper and agriculture waste to energy at Packages Limited’s Bulleh Shah paper mill in Kasur, Punjab.
  • Gharo Corridor 50MW Wind Farm Feasibility Study: The U.S. will conduct a feasibility study to determine the technical, economic, and financial viability of a 50 MW wind power pilot project on behalf of Engro Power. The effort includes preparations for an international competitive tender for wind power engineering, procurement, and construction.
  • Beaconhouse Schools Solar PV Power Supply Feasibility Study: The U.S. will conduct a study to assess the technical, economic, and financial feasibility of installing solar photovoltaic power systems at hundreds of private schools administered by the Beaconhouse Group and owned by Educational Services Limited, the largest private educational services company in Pakistan.

Secretary Clinton announced Phase I of the Signature Energy Program during her October 2009 visit to Pakistan. Phase I of the Pakistan Signature Energy Program provided $125 million for six projects. In Phase I of the Pakistan Signature Energy Program, announced during Secretary Clinton’s October 2009 visit to Pakistan, the United States:

  • ordered generator windings and other spare parts to increase the capacity and reliability of Tarbela Dam Hydroelectric Station
  • procured equipment for the rehabilitation of thermal power plants at Jamshoro, Guddu and Muzaffargah to increase the capacity, reliability, and efficiency of the facilities
  • replaced the first 1,000 agricultural tube well pumps near Multan, in a program that will reach 11,000 tube wells and increase the efficiency of electricity used in agriculture.

Work has begun with the electricity distribution companies in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Quetta and Multan to help them improve service, reduce losses and become more efficient.

After the bilateral Strategic Dialogue meeting in Islamabad Monday, Secretary Clinton announced a multi-year Signature Water Program for Pakistan to improve the country’s ability to increase efficient management and use of its scarce water resources and improve water distribution.

The first phase of the water program will cover seven projects costing over $270 million, including:

  • Jacobabad and Peshawar Municipal Water Projects: The U.S. will work with the two cities over five years to rehabilitate or construct water storage, supply, distribution, and metering systems and improve the water services delivery management capacity of the Northern Sindh Utility Services Corporation and the Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
    Silent Lake in Pakistan’s arid Balochistan Province (Photo by Akbar Kushik)
  • Municipal Services Delivery: The U.S. will conduct a five-year national program to improve the capacity of local authorities to manage public services, including the provision of potable safe water, sanitation and solid waste collection and disposal, as well as other basic municipal services. Scheduled to begin in August in southern Punjab, the program will target 42 vulnerable districts and 139 municipalities that have a combined population of over 50 million.
  • Gomal Zam Dam Irrigation Project: When completed, this project – connected to the new energy-producing dam – will store water to irrigate 190,000 acres in South Waziristan, Tank, and Dera Ismail Khan to control flooding. The effort will prevent an estimated $2.6 million annually in damage, and enhance agricultural opportunities for approximately 30,000 farming families.
  • Satpara Dam Irrigation Project: This project, located in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, connected to the new energy-producing dam will help improve irrigation for 15,500 acres of land and provide 3.1 million gallons of clean drinking water daily for Skardu’s 280,000 local residents.
  • High Efficiency Irrigation Project: This three-year project will introduce improved irrigation technologies on over 250,000 acres of land in all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In each location, the project will substantially reduce water use – increasing crop yields 30-100 percent – and reducing fertilizer and pesticide use.
  • Balochistan Water Storage Dams: This project will support plans by the Government of Balochistan to create a series of water storage dams and will enhance existing programs for irrigation water storage and distribution while also promoting watershed management and integrated crop management.
  • Expert Consultations: The United States will fund a professional exchange visit by Pakistani experts in water management to the United States to meet with counterparts and to examine cost recovery and policy mechanisms that incentivize private sector investment in the water sector.
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