Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) finalised loan agreements totalling US$107 million for two hydropower projects in Pakistan. The signing ceremony, which took place on Friday, was witnessed by the Minister for Economic Affairs, Ahad Khan Cheema.

The loan agreements encompass US$66.00 million for the Shounter Hydropower Project, boasting a capacity of 48 MW, and US$41.00 million for the Jagran IV Hydropower Project, with a capacity of 22 MW. These initiatives are geared towards tapping into the abundant hydropower potential within the region, with the goal of generating a total of 70 MW of hydropower, which will subsequently be integrated into the national grid.

PURPOSE

The overarching objective of these projects extends beyond mere power generation. They seek to address various socio-economic challenges faced by local communities, particularly in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. By providing an alternative source of electricity, the projects aim to curb deforestation, which has long been a pressing issue due to the reliance on forest wood for energy needs.

Moreover, the availability of electricity is expected to create new economic opportunities, contributing to the socio-economic upliftment of the local populace.

CEREMONY

The signing ceremony coincided with a visit from a delegation representing the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), led by CEO Sultan Bin Abdul Rehman Al Marshad. During their visit, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with Minister Ahad Khan Cheema, where they expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality extended by the government of Pakistan.

The CEO of SFD also conveyed appreciation for the recognition conferred upon them by the Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan and the Saudi Fund for Development’s partnership demonstrates their shared commitment to promoting sustainable development and meeting urgent energy demands. All parties involved in such initiatives hope to create a more affluent and brighter future through strategic alliances and coordinated efforts.

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