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ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has rated the implementation progress of the “Electricity Distribution Efficiency Improvement Project (EDEIP)” of around $209.08 million as moderately satisfactory.

The project was approved on December 17, 2021, and the loan agreement and the project agreements were signed on December 23, 2021. The project was declared effective on August 16, 2022.

The project development objectives are to improve operational efficiency in targeted areas of selected distribution companies and achieve progress on the power sector reform agenda. The bank has rated the progress towards achievement of project development objective.

Smart meters, TMS: World Bank asks three Discos to start bidding process

The project will help improve operational efficiencies and modernise operations and management of the three DISCOs, namely, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO). This will be achieved through the following components: (1) Improving Grid Reliability; (2) Modernizing Operations and Management; and (3) Capacity Building and Technical Assistance.

The project will benefit the consumers of these DISCOs by improving the stability, reliability and capacity of the grid as well as by deploying modern information systems and equipment to improve service delivery. Each DISCO will be engaging Project Implementation and Management Support Consultants (PIMSCs) and expects to complete the process within the next few months.

In the first phase, several goods contracts have been advertised and their procurement is underway. The project will also support power sector reforms through Component 4 to be implemented by the Ministry of Energy (MoE). This component will support: (a) governance and institutional reforms; and (b) transition to wholesale electricity market through the commencement of Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market (CTBCM).

The first procurement plan for the reform support component has been approved and activities supported through this component are expected to commence soon. Significant progress has been achieved over the last few months as several procurement packages - at least one by each project implementing entity - have matured and are ready for award and signing. Procurement of larger contracts particularly for grid station works is contingent upon the hiring of PIMSCs by HESCO, MEPCO and PESCO.

The hiring of PIMSCs is expected to be completed during this fiscal year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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