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ISLAMABAD, July 8: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support and finance import of about 2,000MW electricity to Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The bank will also provide assistance for the pipeline project for importing gas from Turkmenistan.

Officials told Dawn on Sunday that the bank found Pakistan’s plans to develop Gwadar port as a ‘transnational hub’ for Central Asian states, South Asia, China and the Middle East to be economically feasible and decided to fund at least three mega-projects, including the import of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

The sources said that the commitment for ADB’s support and funding for the three projects has come at the highest level during a recent interaction between Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and the bank’s president C. Lawrence.

It is not yet clear how much investment would be required for the electricity import projects or the extent of the bank’s contribution, said these sources, adding that a technical delegation would soon visit Islamabad for more detailed discussions.

The ADB is assisting Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to help develop their vast hydropower potential. It wants the two central Asian republics to export 1,000MW each to Pakistan that currently faces more than 2,500MW of power shortfall during peak demand timings.

The annual energy demand growth rate is now estimated at 10 per cent in Pakistan.

Pakistan has held talks with Tajikistan and has held formal talks for electricity import. In one of the formal interactions, major stakeholders like the United States, Afghanistan, Russia and energy giants from the US and Russia also participated.

The ADB has been working very closely with the World Bank to create a regional electricity grid to ensure that surplus energy from one country in a specific country could be transmitted to another nation.

The ADB also completed a feasibility study of the TAP-pipeline project in December last year.