The US Exim Bank has shown keen interest in providing financing for the three LNG-based power plants in Pakistan’s central Punjab province.
The Vice President of the US Exim Bank, Annettee Maresh has sent a letter to Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar showing interest in the projects. Pakistan began to engage the US Exim Bank during a visit by Mr. Dar to Washington in September when he gave a detailed account of the business and investment opportunities in Pakistan.
In response to an invitation, Chairman and President of Exim Bank Fred Hochberg visited Pakistan in April along with other senior officials. The Chairman had a detailed meeting with Mr. Dar who gave detailed briefing on various upcoming projects, especially energy projects where Exim Bank could participate.
In consequence of the above efforts, the Bank has now expressed strong interest in providing financing for the three LNG based power projects. The Bank has also offered multiple financing options for the consideration of the government of Pakistan.
Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar while welcoming the decision of US Exim Bank to finance LNG based power projects has directed the relevant government departments to work out the details of the financing at the earliest. The proposed financing are for the three LNG-based plants located in Baloki, Bhikki and Haveli Bahadar Shah.
The decision by the Exim Bank to finance the energy projects also indicates the confidence of international institutions in economic stability and improved investment climate in the country, a Finance Ministry spokesman said in Islamabad.
Each of the three projects will have an installed capacity of 1,000-1,200 Megawatts. Pakistan is struggling to overcome chronic power shortages and is working on a fast-track plan to meet the growing demand.
As a result of USAID’s efforts, more than 2,300 megawatts of electricity has been added to the national grid since 2011. This total includes 1,013 MW for new or rehabilitated das and thermal power plants, and 1, 287 MW from improvements in the transmission and distribution systems.