ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has decided in-principle to import up to 500 MW electricity from India, with the World Bank agreeing to fund the construction of infrastructure needed for trade in energy between the two countries.
Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar said Pakistan has made an "in-principle" decision to import electricity from India to meet its growing energy requirements.
He made the remarks during a meeting yesterday with a delegation from the Indian firm Global Energy that was led by Harry Dhaul, who is the Founder and Director General of the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI).
Pakistan is facing difficulties due to the shortage of electricity and the "early import of power from India will help in bridging the demand-supply gap", Qamar said.
The country may initially import up to 500 MW from India, he said.
"It is our desire that modalities, tariffs and terms and conditions for the import of power be finalised at the earliest, so that the project may be started shortly," Qamar said. Trade in electricity will enhance economic ties and bilateral relations, he added.
During the meeting, it was agreed that Pakistan and India will build a 45-km 220 kilovolt transmission line within six months following the signing of a formal agreement.
The agreement will be valid for five years, after which it can be extended for another five years or more.
Qamar has directed the Power Ministry, National Transmission and Despatch System and Central Power Purchase Agency to finalise terms and conditions and to submit an initial report to him by next week.
In a related development, the World Bank has agreed to fund the infrastructure needed for trade in electricity between India and Pakistan, a senior unnamed official of the Power Ministry told The News daily.
The official said the World Bank had expressed its desire to fund the infrastructure during a recent meeting with top Pakistani officials.
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