Pakistan want foreign investment to assist with hydropower development

18 May 2004 – The Pakistan government wants to attract maximum foreign investment in the energy sector, especially in hydroelectric projects, as huge potential still lies in this sector in the country, according to the managing director of Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Zafar Ali Khan.

The main thrust of Energy Generation Policy of the government is towards enhanced participation of private sector, he said.

Khan said that energy generation projects are highly capital-intensive and complex. He said a better policy was introduced in 2002 which focuses on hydroelectric side as the country has potential of nearly 40 000 MW, out of which only about 15 per cent could be achieved.

The PPIB chief said that more incentives were offered like on the profit of such projects there will be no tax. On only five per cent duty the machinery for the construction of project can be imported, he added.

He said that letter of interest has been issued to Amzo Corporation for construction of multi-purpose Munda dam near Peshawar which would have capacity of 740 MW. The dam would also be used as a reservoir, spread over 24 square km, he said, adding that rain water could be accumulated there which would be used for irrigation.

Khan said that after commissioning of the project, NWFP government will get approximately Rs 360m ($7.9m) as water use charges annually. He said that the project would be built on a barren land and there would be no main dislocation of the population. He said that private sector is showing substantial interest in this sector and on 5-6 more projects for which letters of interest have been invited.

Senior Vice President of Amzo Corporation, IIC USA, Shahid Pervez Iqbal, said that the dam with a big storage capacity would be built at a cost of $600m. He said, “We want commissioning of the project in 2011.”

Shahid said that very good conditions were offered by Pakistan and “I think, this is a great signal world-wide. We did not face any problem during the course up to letter of interest,” he added.