ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance, Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that government is fully geared towards increasing the existing 14,000 MW power potential upto 24,000 MW in next four years in order to address country’s growing commercial and industrial sectors energy needs.
Talking to Vice President European Investment Bank (EIB), Ms. Magdalena Alverez Arza who called on him, the minister said that Pakistan actually has inherited a wrong energy mix which heavily is tilted in favour of expensive thermal power generation that needs to be reversed.
He said that in medium terms, the government believes in increasing country’s power generation potential upto 24,000 MW in consideration of future energy-based needs in all sectors of development.
Dar said that Pakistan has 19,000 MW power generation capacity on Indus River cascading down to the plains of the country from its place of origin and this power generation potential can attract overseas investment.
The minister took this opportunity to explain to Vice President EIB the salient features of proposed Dasu Hydropower Project which has a predesigned feature of building a water reservoir that can support Pakistan’s power and water related needs if overseas investment also is packaged in it.
He explained to the Vice President that the global commercial market and multilateral donors have expressed interest in offering structured investments in Pakistan.
Ishaq Dar said that present democratic government in Pakistan has developed a policy whereby local and overseas investors are fully protected.
He further said that sovereign guarantees through well designed financial instruments are available and offer attractive returns to the overseas energy sector investors that can secure their investment related economic interests.
The minister presented a snapshot of Pakistan’s economy to the Vice President EIB stating that Pakistan has inherited a complex economic situation with macro-economic imbalances.
He further briefed the Vice President EIB on Pakistan’s recently having undergone a successful review with IMF by completing all significant procedures, entitling release of third tranche to Pakistan under Extended Fund Facility.
Speaking on the occasion Vice President EIB, Ms. Magdalena Alverez Arza, said that her bank would support renewable energy projects in Pakistan since the country has been blessed with tremendous opportunities in renewable power generation sector which needs to be fully tapped as it remains unexplored and under-utilized.
She said that EIB is looking forward to Pakistan’s working on wind power projects to meet its enhanced energy needs adding that EIB has a structured mandate to support power projects through capacity building of Pakistan’s relevant stakeholders.
The Vice President EIB shared her bank’s views as to whether GOP would prefer to use same mode of financing as EIB currently is engaged in offering during the course of its energy related investment in Central Asian Republics.
The Vice President EIB assured that her bank would analyze Pakistan’s overall renewable and hydro energy generation potential for possible future investment in the country.
Secretaries Finance Division, Economic Affairs Division and Water and Power Division were also present in the meeting.