ISLAMABAD: The French government has announced a soft credit as well as grant aid totalling Rs5.05 billion for the rehabilitation of Warsak Hydroelectric Power Project.

Ambassador of France in Pakistan, Martine Dorance and Country Director of the French Agency for Development (AFD) Jacky Amprou signed the credit facility agreement and the grant financing agreement with Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Saleem Sethi on Tuesday.

The AFD board has approved a loan for the total amount of euro 41.5 million which includes euro 1.5m for Wapda Hydropower Training Centre.

Know more: Germany to lend 40m euros for Warsak power station

The AFD has arranged an additional euro 4.5m grant delegated by the European Union’s Asia Investment Facility for support to Warsak Dam rehabilitation components. The grant will address issues related to environmental issues, flood and sedimentation management, community development and enhancement of maintenance of existing workshop.

These measures will also be part of the long-term capacity-building programme implemented by Wapda. The project upon completion will ensure safeguarding the existing capacity of Warsak Dam - 243 MW for next term; adaptation of climate change especially environmental measures, flood and sedimentation management in the Peshawar region and Kabul river; and enhancement of existing workshop, to increase the safety and profitability of hydropower projects.

The total cost of the project is euro 162m and it is being co-financed with the German Development Bank (KfW), European Investment Bank (EIB), and Pakistan government contributions.

The German government has already approved a loan of euros 40m for the rehabilitation of 55 years old Warsak Hydroelectric Power Station located on Kabul River in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

In addition, France, through AFD, was contributing euros 300m to address the current national energy crisis and emerges as a major contributor, in line with the pledge made by the French government at the Tokyo Conference in April 2009.

According to a French embassy press release the French contribution in the energy and water sectors of Pakistan currently committed more than euros 321.5m (Rs40bn).

Two months ahead of the Paris Climate Conference 2015 (COP21), France, through the actions of AFD, helps Pakistan in its struggle to tackle climate change and supports a green and low-carbon development of the country.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd , 2015

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