ISLAMABAD (APP) - Country first Independent Power producer (IPP)- 84 MW New Bong Escape Hydropower Project of Hubco Laraib Energy Limited received financial close. The government of Pakistan has executed the GOP guarantee which was signed at Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) by Fayyaz Elahi, Managing Director, PPIB on behalf of the GoP, while Khalid Falzi, CEO and Hasnain Hyder, COO signed the guarantee on behalf of Hubco Laraib Energy Limited. The power project is located 7.5 kilometers downstream of Mangla Dam, in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and is expected to be commissioned by May, 2013 to sell electricity to WAPDA/NTDC for supplying clean, reliable and cheap energy to the consumers. The sponsors of the project are HuB Power Company Ltd i.e. HUBCO (wherein majority shareholder is international Power of UK), Coate and Co. (Private) Limited and Continental Power Limited who are investing US$ 53.72 million through equity. The project is being financed with debt financing of US$ 161.24 million through both local and foreign lenders. The foreign lenders include Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), PROPARCO of France while the local lenders include Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). The New Bong Escape Hydropower Project assumes further importance because with its Financial Close, Hydropower security package prepared by PPIB has been accepted by international investors and lenders and will now form the basis for other hydropower projects to come. The tariff mechanism prepared by PPIB and NEPRA with consultation of all stakeholders is now the basis for tariff determination for future hydropower IPPs in Pakistan. The project will open doors for quick implementation of a portfolio of hydroelectric projects under process with PPIB and is proof of international investors and lenders confidence in Pakistans power sector.