Pak Affairs

USTDA awards grants to Pakistan in power sector

ISLAMABAD: The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed two grants with Pakistan that are part of dollars 1.4 million package supporting President George W. Bush’s commitment to Pakistan’s economic development under the US-Pakistan Energy Discussions framework. US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson signed both agreements on behalf of the USTDA, with the Chairman of Alternative Energy Development Board Air Marshal (Retd) Shahid Hamid and NEPRA Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retd) Saeed uz Zafar, respectively.

Patterson, in the signing ceremony here said that these grants support the renewable energy priorities of the U.S.-Pakistan Energy Discussions, which President George W. Bush and President Pervez Musharraf launched during President Bush’s visit to Pakistan in March 2006. The first grant, she said, is for 325,000 dollars to the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). This grant will assist Pakistan in developing new electric power supplies through a detailed evaluation of a five to ten megawatt waste-to-energy power plant in the Karachi area. This project is particularly important given the serious energy problems in Karachi and the city’s role in the national economy. The project will assist Pakistan in meeting the growing demand for power, decrease Pakistan’s energy import bill, and enhance the nation’s energy security.

The second grant of 263,000 Dollars is for Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). This grant will assist in reviewing renewable energy projects and recommending tariff-setting procedures and changes to the legal framework of the renewable energy sector. US Ambassador said that implementation of these power projects will assist Pakistan in meeting the growing demand for power and will enhance the nation’s energy security.

She applauded the government’s decision to use indigenous renewable energy sources such as water, wind, municipal solid waste. These measures will not only protect the environment but will also be less costly than power generation that is based on imported gas, coal and fuel oil. She hoped that the grants will help to increase Pakistan’s energy supply and reliability, reduce its energy import bill, and provide a reliable platform for continued economic growth.-SANA

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