LAHORE - Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Joint Secretary Ali Raza Bhutta, Philippe Thiébaud, Ambassador of France, and Denis Cassat, Country Director of the French Development Agency (AFD), in the presence of Berend de Groot Director of cooperation at the European Union delegation signed the grant funding agreement for the establishment of Hydropower Training Institute (HPTI) at Mangla.
This grant which has been delegated to AFD by the European Union aims complete rehabilitation of the existing training centre of Mangla and its transformation into a “centre of excellence for hydropower” to increase capacity-building of hydropower public & private operators. This centre will be, upon completion, to ensure sound and skilled development of hydropower projects in the country, both at technical and engineering levels.
In this context, the synergy of objectives and the actions of European Union and France as Member State permits to promote valuable means to give this project an exemplary dimension. This will contribute to boost renewable energy development and as a means to promote green investments. This is fully in line with the objectives and within AFD’s mandate in Pakistan and the European Union’s action plan for the Asia Investment facility (AIF).
The capacity-building of the HPTI would integrate the latest international preoccupations regarding  adaptation to climate change of large dam infrastructures, for more extreme events (droughts and floods), improving the design for resilience, safety and profitability of the hydropower projects;  benefit from carbon finance by presenting eligible projects under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and selection of projects in line with the best environmental and social due diligences, therefore attracting more easily international funding. Besides the grant of 2.5 million Euros provided to the Government of Pakistan, France, through Agence Française de Développement (AFD), contributes to address the current national energy crisis. AFD is providing to a main part of the pledge made by the French Government at the Tokyo conference of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan in April 2009, i.e. 300 millions Euros in the energy and water sectors (currently committed at 75 per cent i.e. 225 Million Euros).
To reduce the power demand, AFD is co-financing with ADB a multi-tranche programme on energy efficiency in domestic and industrial sectors. To improve the power supply, AFD is supporting also the development of renewable energies, currently   for Jaggran II (68 million Euros) hydropower projects (48 MW run-of-river hydroelectric power plant on the Jaggran river Neelum Valley in AJK (Azad Jammu & Kashmir), for the Munda / Mohmand hydropower project located in Mohmand Agency (11 millions Euros- detailed design studies and initial phase)) and for Harpo hydropower project in the Gilgit-Baltistan Skardu region (50 million Euros).
In future, AFD is looking to fund rehabilitation/ extension of hydropower plants in various places in association with Wapda and provincial operators like (PHYDO, HEB, etc) located in all territories of Pakistan.
Proparco, a subsidiary of AFD for the private sector development, has also invested 40 million Euros during the last 3 years in the energy sector, including the 84 MW New Bong Escape (Laraib Energy) Hydropower Project; and is looking forward to supporting Independent Power Producers, energy efficiency, agro-industries and microfinance.