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ISLAMABAD: Power Division has shown its readiness for Energy Security Dialogue with the United States on March 15, 2023, in Islamabad, official sources told Business Recorder.

The US side will be led by the US Department of State’s Energy Resources Assistant Secretary, Geoffrey Pyatt whereas Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan will head Pakistan’s team, comprising officials from different concerned Ministries.

According to US Embassy, the dialogue will provide an opportunity to discuss issues being faced by the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, the stalled Central- Asia- South- Asia (CASA-1000), purchase of US LNG, issues related to purchasing of Russian oil and possibility of supply of equipment/ spare parts for damaged power plants of Ukraine in conflict with Russia.

Sources revealed that the Minister for Power Division Khurram Dastgir Khan was approached by the US Ambassador to Pakistan to deliver the opening remarks.

Power Division, sources said, has endorsed the proposal of the US Ambassador and conveyed it in written form to the Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The US is already extending financial assistance for hydropower projects and renewable energy projects in addition to improvement in Discos’ network. The sources said the USAID is engaged with Islamabad through the Ministry of Economic Affairs to extend technical assistance for solar initiatives, recently announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Energy security talks with US next month

Power Division is also organising a road show in Dubai on Monday (March 6, 2023) to attract investment for its first 600 MWp solar plant at Muzaffargarh.

The US has repeatedly raised its concerns regarding the outstanding issues of resolution of 5 wind-power projects financed by DFC, the sources said, adding this issue will also be one of the top agenda items of Energy Security Dialogue.

According to sources, the issue of DFC projects also came under debate at a recent meeting of TIFA held in Washington. Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar led Pakistan delegation.

The sources said, Power Division has shared proposed agenda of talks with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to ensure more substantive gains from the dialogue.

Geoffrey R Pyatt, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources on September 19, 2022.

Both countries are also expected to discuss US-Pakistan Green Alliance during the dialogue. In the 1960s, the US supported the “Green Revolution” in Pakistan, which led to better yields in key crops like wheat and rice. The Green Revolution dramatically boosted economic opportunities for rural Pakistanis and increased life expectancy across the country.

The United States invested in Pakistan’s electrification more than 50 years ago, constructing hydropower plants that continue to provide reliable, efficient and clean energy. The US maintains that as the Green Revolution improved lives in the past, a “Green Alliance” between the United States and Pakistan will help jointly meet the climate, economic and energy challenges of the present and future.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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