French, EU envoys visit HPTI site in Mangla

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  • Hydropower Training Institute likely to start functioning by 2018

France Ambassador to Pakistan Martine Dorance along with Ambassador of European Union Jean-Francois Cautain visited the construction site of the Hydropower Training Institute (HPTI) in Mangla and participated to the corner stone ceremony hosted by Nasir Hanif, water member of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

According to a statement issued here on Monday by the France Embassy, both France and the European Union through the French Agency for Development (AFD) have provided the government of Pakistan with a four million Euros funding. The grant of 2.5 million Euros was delegated to the AFD by the European Union as part of the Asia Investment Facility.

In addition to the EU grant, the French Agency for Development has provided additional funding of 1.5 million Euros for the successful and timely completion of the project. Upon its completion by end of 2018, the training centre would contribute to the capacity building of public and private hydropower operators like WADPA, provincial and independent power producers.

It will ensure a sound and skilled development of hydropower projects by strengthening the capacities of technicians and engineers in charge of designing and operating hydropower plants. For the last 10 years, France through the French Agency for Development has been promoting green energies in Pakistan and has allocated more than 300 million Euros to investments in hydroelectricity.

About 80% of this amount is financing projects implemented by WAPDA to develop the tremendous potential in hydroelectricity. France is committed to support the government’s strategy to solve the energy crisis and to fight climate change through investments in low-carbon-emission energy generation in line with COP21 Paris agreement approved by the parliament.

Last week, the French ambassador had visited the construction site of the Jaggran II hydropower plant in Azad Jammu Kashmir too and participated to the corner stone ceremony hosted by Kashmiri Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan.

France, through AFD, has also provided the government with a 68 million Euros soft loan for the construction of the 48 megawatts hydropower plant located about 90km from Muzaffarabad city towards northeast. The project is being built in the upper extent of Jaggran Nullah, a right bank tributary of the Neelum River.

It is located downstream of the existing 30.4 megawatts Jaggran I hydropower project, funded earlier with the French support, and being operated since 2000 by the Power Development Organisation (PDO). The Jaggran II hydroelectric power project will operate as a run-of-the-river scheme and will not entail any major environmental or social constraints.

It will be connected to the national grid, and will help alleviate the energy crisis in Pakistan. Upon its commissioning in 2020, it will provide a reliable source of renewable energy and a permanent supply of electricity for the 1.2 million people living in Muzaffarabad, with strong social and economic positive impacts.

Besides the soft loan provided to the government of Pakistan, AFD is also providing a grant for capacity building of the Power Development Organisation.