ISLAMABAD: The government is seeking $200 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a World Bank affiliate, to increase its installed hydropower capacity and build institutional capacity for further hydropower development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was learnt.
The project, costing $659m, will support the development of cascade on Swat River and Panjkora River and their power evacuation. Four run-of-river hydropower schemes have been identified – two each on Swat and Panjkora River.
The KP government will contribute $’129m towards the project.
The four run-of-river hydropower sites are in districts Upper Dir and Swat on Rivers Swat and Panjkora.
Panjkora River falls into Swat River near Chakdara in the Malakand district. Two sites on Panjkora River (Barikot-Patrak and Patrak-Shringal) have been identified where feasibility is complete.
The project will also undertake the feasibility and design study for 110MW Gabral-Kelam hydro-power project on Swat River.
The fourth site is assessment of an ongoing project 84MW Matiltan hydropower project for possible investment financing by the World Bank.
A document prepared for the project says this is going to be the World Bank’s first engagement with the KP government in the hydropower sector through its Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO), which has some experience of working with Asian Development Bank that has financed two small projects of 17MW and 3MW.
Consultants will be engaged to monitor and supervise implementation of the environmental and social management plans during construction to ensure compliance with safeguard policies.
About 50 per cent of 40,000MW of hydropower potential lies in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The governments, at both federal and provincial levels, have started to finance various hydropower schemes.
Wapda is developing sites on the River Indus through PEDO.
Though at a relatively slow pace, private investors have also started to invest in the development of hydropower.
Despite the huge potential the pace and scale of hydropower development is slow. Only 15pc of Pakistan’s total hydropower potential has been developed mainly comprising few mega hydropower projects.