The International Finance Corporation has announced a US$50 million investment in Pakistan's 102-MW Gulpur hydropower plant and the mobilization of an additional $72 million for the project.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said the investment is intended to "address the country's power shortage, support lower cost energy generation, and help develop renewable energy sources."
Gulpur is being developed by Mira Power Ltd. on the Poonch River about 170 kilometers from Islamabad.
"Our aim is to help address Pakistan's power shortage by supporting the development of renewable energy resources that will reduce the country’s reliance on more expensive fuel imports for power generation," said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC Regional Industry Head for Infrastructure, Europe Middle East and North Africa. "We also hope to encourage other international investors to invest in Pakistan's power sector."
Mira Power is a subsidiary of Korea South East Power Co. Ltd. (KOSEP), which is using the project to make inroads into Pakistan.
"This is KOSEP's first power generation project in Pakistan," KOSEP general manager Yi, Bo Seuk said. "This investment will help us utilize Pakistan's significant hydropower resource and help address the energy crisis in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way."
IFC announced its intention to extend up to $60 million for the Gulpur plant during a January meeting.
Mira Power and the Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) government signed agreements for its construction in March.
Gulpur is one of several World Bank-funded projects located in Pakistan. HydroWorld.com has previously reported that the international finance agency is providing $840 million for a 1,410 MW extension to the Tarbela hydropower plant.
HydroWorld.com reported this past September that MWH Global had been selected to serve as owner's engineer for Gulpur.
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