$425m sought for Swat hydro projects.

Byline: Amin Ahmed

ISLAMABAD -- The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is seeking $425 million from the World Bank group to develop run-of-river hydropower projects on Swat River Basin which has an estimated energy potential of 2,000MW.

The KP government has developed a project at a cost of $782m. However, this financing plan is indicative and efforts would be made to mobilise as much commercial financing as feasible while the share of the provincial government would depend upon the level of commercial capital mobilised, according to a document reAAleased by the WB.

The $425m loan also included $287m from the InterAnational DeveAlopment AssociaAtion (IDA).

The proposed funding by the WB will be the first engagement with the KP government in the hydropower sector through its executing agency, Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO), which has some experience of working with the Asian Development Bank that has financed two small projects of 17MW and 3MW for administering international financing institutions funds and complying with their requirements regarding environmental and social due diligence, safeguards and oversight.

The project area includes Upper Dir and Swat districts which are part of the Malakand division. The topography of the area is dominated by high mountains located among the foothills of the Hindukush mountain range. The total hydropower potential of Swat River basin also includes several run-of-river hydropower projects of varying capacity ranging from 10MW to 200MW.

An 88MW run-of-river Gabral-Kalam hydropower project on Gabral tributary of Swat River for which feasibility study has been...

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