ISLAMABAD - The US Government has organised a study tour for professionals from Pakistan’s government-owned power distribution companies (Discos) to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia. Exposure to efficient energy operations was intended to teach Pakistani energy professionals how to strengthen commercial operations and customer service, as well as professional development at Discos which are responsible for managing the distribution of energy throughout the country. “The United States Government is committed to assisting the Government of Pakistan in improving the power distribution system. “We work with public sector power sector distribution companies to improve their operations, reduce losses and ultimately to make sure that Pakistani citizens have a more reliable supply of power.” said Timothy Moore, Acting Energy Office Director at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Pakistan.During their exchange visits to the UAE and Australia, Disco managers had opportunity to observe operations at several of the finest energy facilities. The programme includes presentations, site visits and roundtable discussions to address specific topics related to customer service, commercial management and professional development at distribution companies.USAID, under its Power Distribution Programme, has conducted six exchange programmes to Turkey, South Africa, Australia, UAE and the United States. Approximately 12 Disco managers were selected for each programme and all nine Discos throughout the country were able to participate. In addition to these activities, the United States is renovating thermal plants at Jamshoro, Guddu, and Muzaffagarh, which have already added 650 megawatts to the national grid since September 2011. The US government is also co-financing the completion of the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams which will add another 35 megawatts and irrigate more than 200,000 acres. Finally, we are helping to replace thousands of highly inefficient agricultural and municipal water pumps throughout the country to save additional megawatts. These projects, as well as others supported by USAID, will add 900 megawatts to the national grid by the end of this year and help decrease power shortages in Pakistan.