ISLAMABAD -  The United States is strengthening Pakistan’s energy sector through improved sector-wide planning, said an embassy statement yesterday.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to coordinate on integrated energy planning in the country. Through the MOU signed, the integrated energy planning process will help policymakers to understand the impacts of different energy policy options and support effective short-term decisions that are consistent with long-term energy and economic objectives, the statement said.

With the support of USAID, the United States Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are bringing their technical expertise and experience to work with ministries, provincial governments, and others to improve energy planning in Pakistan, the embassy said.

Speaking at the ceremony, USAID Mission Director John Groarke said, “Through the improved planning process, governments and utilities will evaluate a range of feasible policy and resource options and assess them against a common set of planning objectives and criteria. The integrated energy planning process will help policymakers understand the impacts of different energy policy options.”

The US government has supported private investment in Pakistan’s energy sector through two large investment conferences, new energy sector guarantees through Pakistani private banks, and helped distribution companies, such as K-Electric, adopt commercial practices.