Home Latest News World Bank Approves $1bn Additional Financing for Dasu Project

World Bank Approves $1bn Additional Financing for Dasu Project

Global bank says funds will help Pakistan lower dependence on fossil fuels, achieve 60% renewable energy by 2031

by Staff Report

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The World Bank on Monday approved $1 billion in additional financing for the Dasu Hydropower Project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Upper Kohistan district, according to a press release issued early on Tuesday morning.

“The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $1 billion in a second round of additional financing for the Dasu Hydropower Stage I (DHP I) Project,” read the statement. “This financing will support the expansion of hydropower electricity supply, improve access to socio-economic services for local communities, and build the Water and Power Development Authority’s (WAPDA) capacity to prepare future hydropower projects,” it added.

Noting challenges to Pakistan’s energy sector in achieving affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine said the Dasu project was “one of the best hydropower sites in the world and a game changer for the Pakistan energy sector.” He maintained the project would lower the cost of electricity and provide energy with minimal emissions.

Similarly, Rikard Liden, the task team leader for the project, described the Dasu project as “essential” for Pakistan to lower its dependence on fossil fuels and achieve 60 percent renewable energy by 2031. “The second additional financing will facilitate the expansion of electricity supply and potentially save Pakistan an estimated $1.8 billion annually by replacing imported fuels, and offset around 5 million tons of carbon dioxide,” he said, adding the annual economic return of the project was estimated around 28 percent.

The World Bank release claims the Dasu project would have an installed capacity of 4,320–5,400MW upon completion. “DHP-I has a capacity of 2,160MW and will generate 12,225 gigawatt hours per year of low-cost renewable energy. The DHP-II will add 9,260–11,400GWh per year from the same dam,” he said.

“Through this project adult literacy has increased by an estimated 30 percent since 2012, boys’ schooling increased by 16 percent while girls’ schooling has increased by 70 percent during this period,” read the statement, highlighting the new financing would support “ongoing socio-economic initiatives in Upper Kohistan, particularly in the areas of education, health, employment, and transport.”

The World Bank said development works under the financing would emphasize women beneficiaries, including the establishment of free healthcare clinics/camps with women doctors/nurses, trainings for female health workers, trainings on livelihoods and literacy for women, and awareness-raising programs on health and hygiene.

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