ADB to invest $810m in Pakistani power transmission

The Manila-based lender claims to be the development bank most involved in the country's energy sector.

The Asian Development Bank has approved an $810 million multi-tranche financing facility to help develop Pakistan’s power transmission network. 

The loan, to be delivered in tranches over the next 10 years, will help fund the staged rehabilitation and expansion of the transmission network, increase capacity and boost energy efficiency. It is part of efforts to revamp the National Transmission and Despatch Company and the sector’s newly established commercial operator, the Central Power Purchasing Agency. 

Of the allocated $810 million, $800 million will come from ordinary capacity resources, with the remaining $10 million provided by the Asian Development Fund, according to the project document. 

Power shortages have been a major obstacle to Pakistan’s economic development, with over one-third of the population cut off from the grid. With demand for electricity outpacing supply, inefficient and inadequate transmission and distribution systems remain key bottlenecks. 

“Fast implementation of this facility and related reforms to alleviate power shortages will improve the prospects for the country,” said Megan Wolf, energy specialist with ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.

ADB is Pakistan’s largest development bank in the energy sector, with investments including five multi-tranche financing facilities as well as support for policy reforms, energy planning, preparation of feasibility studies, capacity development and promotion of regional power and gas trading initiatives.