Pakistan is to receive an $800m loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for projects designed to boost the efficiency of its power sector.
The bank and Tariq Bajwa, Pakistan’s economic affairs secretary, on Friday signed an agreement for $400m for power distribution system upgrades and a further $400m to support an energy policy reform initiative, the Sustainable Energy Sector Reform Programme.
According to the ADB, a phased rollout of the distribution system upgrades is planned, with smart meters and computerized billing and information systems installed in major cities and in industrial and commercial hubs.
Meanwhile, the bank said the market reform programme will “support policy measures to address gaps in the electricity sector, as well as further market reforms to integrate energy planning and efficiency of public sector power companies”.
Specific steps planned include setting up an independent central power purchase agency, electricity data consolidation, measures to boost transparency and stakeholder participation, and encouraging increased private sector participation in the power and gas sectors.
Werner Liepach, ADB country director for Pakistan, said: “The two programmes are major steps towards resolving Pakistan’s energy crises. The state-of-the-art new metering system will minimize losses and allow effective load management and transparency, thus ensuring a robust and sustainable power supply needed to lift growth and job creation.”