ISLAMABAD  - Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday said that the incumbent regime is attaching top priority to provide affordable and uninterrupted electricity to the people, and is working on multiple strategies to address the challenges. This he said while chairing the 94th meeting of the Board of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held here. The minister further said in this regard PPIB is being further strengthened as a one-window facilitator, and procedures are being made easier and investor-friendly.

The Secretary Water and Power/ MD PPIB briefed the Board on the efforts being done to enhance the electricity capacity in the country. It was told that 84 MW New Bong hydropower project which was recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister is the first hydel IPP of the country and has active support of the ADB, IDB & IFC.  404 MW Uch-II power project based on low BTU gas is in progress and is expected to commission by January 2014, while the policy of conversion of thermal project to coal will inject another 2000 MW to the national grid. Board was appraised that PPIB has also developed the Co- Generation project with the active participation on PSMA & the other stakeholders, which will encourage power generation through bagasse. PPIB has been entrusted with a challenging task of facilitating the Pakistan Power Park Management Company Limited which is responsible to establish a park of 6600 MW imported coal based power plants. Furthermore, 590 MW Mahl hydro power project has recently been announced on International Competitive Bidding (ICB) basis for which Chinese and local firms have shown interest and submitted proposals.

The Board approved signing of Implementing Agreement of two hydro power plants namely 840 MW Sukki Kinari at river Kunhar, District Manshera and 100 MW Gulpur to be located at River Poonch, District Kotli, AJK. The Board also approved the solicitation of projects through competitive bidding for 100 MW Kotli Hydropower Project and 132 MW Rajdhani Hydropower Project at River Poonch, AJK.

Under the Chairmanship of Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the meeting was attended by Saifullah Chattha, Secretary Water & Power/MD PPIB, Syed Raghib Abbas, Chairman WAPDA, Khizar Hayat Gondal, Chief Secretary Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Ms. Azra Mujtaba, Additional Secretary Ministry of Finance, Misbah Tunio, Acting Secretary Planning Commission,. Khalid Awais Ranjha, Additional Secretary Energy Department, Government of Punjab, Bahadur Shah, Managing Director Pakhtunkhwa Hydel Development Organisation (PHYDO), representatives from Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA, besides Executives Directors and Directors of PPIB and other senior government officials.