France supports renewable hydropower energy in Pakistan
(Islamabad, July 6, 2012)
On July 6th, 2012, Mr Iftikhar Ahmed Rao, Additional Secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD), His Excellency Mr Philippe Thiébaud, Ambassador of France, and Mr. Nicolas Fornage, Country Director of the French Development Agency (AFD), signed the funding agreement for the Jaggran II Hydro-power Project.
This project relates to the construction of a 48 MW Hydropower Plant located about 90 km from Muzaffarabad city towards North-East. The project will be built in the upper extent of Jaggran Nullah, a right bank tributary of the Neelum River. It will be located downstream of the existing 30.4 MW Jaggran I hydropower project, funded earlier with French support, and being operated since 2000 by the Hydro-Electric Board (HEB).
Jaggran II Hydroelectric Power Project will operate as a run-of-the-river scheme and will not entail any major environmental or social constraints. It will be connected to the national grid, and will help alleviate the energy crisis in Pakistan. Upon its commissioning in 2015, it will provide a reliable source of renewable energy and a permanent supply of electricity for the 1.2 million people living in the Muzaffarabad area, with strong social and economical positive impacts.
Besides the soft loan of 68 millions Euros provided to the Government of Pakistan, AFD is also providing a grant for capacity-building of HEB.
France, through Agence Française de Développement (AFD), is providing funds to address the current national energy crisis. To reduce the power demand, AFD is co-financing with ADB a multi-tranche programme on energy efficiency in domestic and industrial sectors. To improve the power supply, AFD is supporting the development of renewable energies, currently with Jabban (22 MW project in Malakand District) and Jaggran II hydropower projects. PROPARCO, a subsidiary of AFD for the private sector development, has also invested 40 million Euros during the last 3 years in the energy sector, including the New Bong Escape Hydropower Project; and is looking forward to supporting Independent Power Producers, energy efficiency, agro-industries and microfinance.
AFD has also recently approved a soft loan of 11 million Euros, in order to fund detailed design studies for the Munda hydropower project, located in Mohmand Agency.
As a member of the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan, France pledged 300 million euros at the Tokyo ministerial conference in 2009. With the funding agreement for Jaggran II signed with EAD, France has now a portfolio of projects amounting to 213 million Euros for the water and energy sector in Pakistan, corresponding to 73% of its pledge.