ISLAMABAD: As a relief to the loadshedding-affected people of Gilgit-Baltistan, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW Development Bank is providing 20 Million EUR for constructing the 35MW Harpo Hydropower Project. Currently this is the largest power generation project in Gilgit-Baltistan. This project will be co-financed between KfW Development Bank and the French development agency AFD.
The feasibility study of this project was made possible by a German Grant amounting to 650,000 EUR. In addition, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will provide 1.5 Million EUR Grant through KfW for improving the Transmission and Distribution Management System, and capacity building of the GB Water & Power Department.
Gilgit-Baltistan is not connected to the National Grid. The existing local power generation of about 80MW is simply insufficient to meet the growing electricity needs of about 2 million people of GB. Harpo Hydropower Project will thus mark a significant improvement in electricity supply. The Project will include the first ever 132kV Transmission line of about 70km, and 3 grid stations. In addition, a proper bridge will be constructed across River Indus. This would help in transporting the construction materials and machinery, and also ensure better access to the main Skardu-Gilgit Road for the local communities.The Project will be developed by WAPDA and handed over to GB Water & Power Department after staff training.
The 20 Million EUR agreement was signed on December 24 by the Joint Secretary Economic Affairs Division Mr. Ali Raza Bhutta, the General Manager Finance WAPDA, Mr. Najib Tariq, and the Director of KfW OfficePakistan, Dr. Anna-Christine Janke. Present at the signing were Ms Mandy Zeckra, Economic Counselor of the German Embassy inPakistanand Dr. Parvaiz Naim, Senior Coordinator Energy Sector and Portfolio of the KfW Office Pakistan.