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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has been informed that financing for 48MW Shounter Hydro-power project is available from Saudi Development Fund (SDF).

On a summary moved by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, the Ecnec has approved the project on Monday after it was informed that the project being established in AJK District Neelum Valley is proposed to be financed 85 percent from SFD and 15 percent through AJK ADP.

The cost of the project is Rs11.274 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs9.575 billion and a local component Rs1.698 billion.

The project was considered by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on 04-06-2022 with a completion period of four years or 48 months.

The ECNC meeting was informed that the concept clearance of the project was done by the Concept Clearance Committee/ CDWP for seeking foreign financing through Economic Affairs Division in its meeting held on 14-01-2016.

The meeting was further informed that the project was discussed in the pre-CDWP meeting held on 30 October 2018 and it was decided that the sponsors (AJK government) may provide the firm financing through EAD for the project along with allocation in PSDP/ADP 2018-19 for the proposed project, cost estimates will be updated as per current exchange rate and the sponsors will rationalise cost estimate of the project.

Projects under SDF: PM expresses satisfaction over progress

Accordingly, a pre-CDWP meeting was scheduled on 5 December 2019; however, sponsors requested to postpone the meeting because foreign funding for 48 MW Shountor HPP is not yet confirmed.

Now financing from the SDF is available for the project, therefore, the sponsor submitted the PC-I, which was considered at the CDWP meeting held on 4.06.2022.

The meeting was informed that sectoral issues included that reliable supply of power to industrial, agricultural, commercial and domestic consumers is a lifeline for development and production in those key sectors which owe a significant contribution to the economic growth of the country and alleviation of poverty.

The AJK government has developed a strategy and is giving priority to hydropower generation projects both in the public and private sectors. Although there is huge potential of water resources in these hilly areas for power generation and other irrigation purposes, the AJK government is taking full interest to use this potential for the benefit of the people, especially in the same areas.

The proposed project will help to add 48 MW capacity to the system and will assist in meeting power demand in the country and will help in the reduction of load shedding.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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