ISLAMABAD- October 23, 2018- The Minister of Water, Faisal Vawda, chaired meetings over the past few days to fast track actions on Dasu Hydropower Project implementation. The meeting was attended by, among others, Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Lieutenant General (ret) Muzammil Hussain, and Country Director World Bank, Patchamuthu Illangovan.
The Minister reiterated the importance of the project for Pakistan and directed relevant departments to take action on a critical footing. The Chairman WAPDA confirmed Dasu is a priority project and that WAPDA will take immediate steps to ensure project’s benefits are realized at the earliest, and resolve issues delaying implementation. Slow progress in land acquisition has been a main contributor for the delay. A total of 9970 acres of land are needed for the Dasu hydropower project, of which 741 acres have so far been acquired. The Minister will closely supervise and monitor project implementation and engage all key partners, including Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to resolve land acquisition issues expeditiously and overcome the current two-year delay.
The World Bank approved a credit of $588.4 million in June 2014 to support the 2,160 megawatt (MW) Dasu Stage I hydropower plant on the main Indus River. The innovative project financing structure, including a partial credit guarantee, has enabled the government to raise $1.75 billion from a number of lenders.
This is the first time that WAPDA has sought commercial financing for a large hydropower project and provides a model for future financing of such infrastructure.
The World Bank in Pakistan
Pakistan has been a member of the World Bank since 1950. Since then, the World Bank has provided $33.4 billion in assistance. The World Bank’s program in Pakistan is governed by the Country Partnership Strategy for FY2015-2020 with four priority areas of engagement: energy, private sector development, inclusion, and service delivery. The current World Bank portfolio includes 43 projects with a net commitment of $7.79 billion.