World Bank green-lights $1bn for Dasu Hydropower Project

According to a statement issued by the World Bank, the organization approved a second round of additional $1 billion in finance for Pakistan on Tuesday to finance the Dasu Hydropower Stage I (DHP I) Project.

The funds were granted by the WB Board of Executive Directors to assist Pakistan in making the transition to inexpensive and sustainable energy.

According to a press release: “This financing will support the expansion of hydropower electricity supply, improve access to socio-economic services for local communities, and build the Water and Power Development Authority’s (WAPDA) capacity to prepare future hydropower projects.”

The World Bank’s declaration is made the day before Pakistan is scheduled to present its yearly budget for the 2024–2025 fiscal year.

A pre-budget document called the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2023–24 will also be released by the federal government.

According to a statement by Najy Benhassine, the Country Director of the World Bank for Pakistan, Pakistan’s energy sector faces numerous obstacles in its quest for sustainable, affordable, and dependable electricity.

Benhassine went on, “The Dasu Hydropower Project site is a game changer for the energy sector in Pakistan and is among the top hydropower locations in the world. The DHP will help “green” the energy industry and bring down the price of electricity while leaving a very tiny environmental footprint.”

The World Bank stated in its statement that when the DHP is finished, it will have an installed capacity of 4,320–5,400 MW.

“The project is being developed gradually. DHP-I can produce 2,160 MW of cheap renewable energy annually, or 12,225 gigawatt hours (GWh). The World Bank stated that the DHP-II will increase annual output from the same dam by 9,260–11,400 GWh.

Task Team Leader Rikard Liden discussed the project’s importance, saying that “DHP-I is an essential project in Pakistan’s efforts to reverse its dependence on fossil fuels and reach 60 percent renewable energy by 2031.”

According to Liden, the second additional funding will make it easier to expand the supply of electricity, replace imported fuels that could save Pakistan an estimated $1.8 billion a year, and offset about 5 million tons of carbon dioxide.

“It is estimated that DHP-I has an annual economic return of about 28%.”

According to the World Bank, the increased funding for the hydropower project will also help the Upper Kohistan region’s continuing socioeconomic activities, which are focused on improving the employment, health, education, and transportation sectors.

“Through this project adult literacy has increased by an estimated 30% since 2012, boys’ schooling increased by 16% while girls’ schooling has increased by 70% during this period,” it stated.

With the project’s assistance, the area’s ongoing community development initiatives will also move forward, including improvements to roads, irrigation plans, schools, healthcare facilities, mosques, bridges, solar energy systems, research labs, and libraries.

It further stated that all of these development projects will prioritize the needs of women, including the creation of free medical clinics and camps staffed by female physicians and nurses, training programs for female health workers, workshops on women’s literacy and livelihoods, and public health and hygiene awareness campaigns.

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