ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Board has approved the Electricity Distribution and Transmission Improvement Project Loan in its meeting held on June 17, 2008 at a total cost of $ 256.852 million for Pakistan. The objectives of the project are to: (i) strengthen the capacity of the distribution and transmission networks to meet increasing electricity demand in the selected areas more efficiently and with better reliability and quality; and (ii) strengthen institutional capacity of the selected distribution companies and support other priority areas of the power sector reform.
The project includes the following components: (i) physical strengthening of distribution networks operated by four distribution companies (HESCO, IESCO, LESCO, and MEPCO); (ii) removing some bottlenecks in the transmission grid, operated by NTDC; (iii) technical assistance for capacity building, specialized studies, energy efficiency, and sector reform and (iv) a pilot energy efficiency program, involving installation of energy saving equipment at the customer level. It may be mentioned here that this is the first World Bank loan approved for Pakistan after induction of new government. The approval reflects confidence of the international financial institutions in Pakistan’s economic fundamentals.-SANA