Lahore - A delegation of the European Investment Bank, headed by its Vice-president Ms Magdalena Alverez Arza on Sunday visited Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project. Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali and Wapda chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah also accompanied the delegation during their visit.

The 128MW - Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project is being constructed by Wapda on a tributary of Indus River in Kohistan district of KPK. The project with an estimated cost of 240 million Euros is being jointly funded by the European Investment Bank, the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Government of Pakistan. The European Investment Bank and KfW are providing 100 million Euros and 97 million Euros respectively for construction of the project.

State Minister said that the delegation’s visit to the project was a manifestation of deepening cooperation among the European Union, Germany and Pakistan. He said that Pakistan greatly values the financial assistance being provided by the European Investment Bank and KfW for Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project.

He expressed the hope that the mutual cooperation for other power sector projects will be further enhanced in the days to come. He apprised the delegation that with a view to making Pakistan energy-secure, the present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has worked out a least-cost electricity generation strategy that aims to harness indigenous resources, the vast hydel potential in particular. He said that the Ministry of Water and Power through Wapda was working on medium and long term plans to add low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid to improve the energy mix in favour of hydel, help rationalise the power tariff and ultimately provide relief to the consumers as committed by the Prime Minister. The govt was not only arranging funds from its own resources but also reaching out to friendly countries and international financial institutions for financing for power projects. He further said that Pakistan’s energy sector presents lucrative investment opportunities and the govt has been fully facilitating the investors. Wapda chairman said that the preliminary works on Keyal Khwar Project i.e. construction of offices, colony and roads are already in progress,  He further said that the project is scheduled to be completed in four years and will provide 426m units of low-cost hydel electricity per annum to the national grid.

Vice-president of the European Investment Bank said that Keyal Khwar was the fifth project supported by the European Investment Bank in Pakistan. The European Investment Bank intends to explore ways and means to finance other projects of renewable energy in Pakistan, she further said.