Top energy and government officials from Pakistan and the United States presented the business opportunities existed in Pakistan’s clean energy at a two-energy conference, as part of growing cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector.
Pakistan’s minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, and Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended to the two-day conference held in Washington from Dec. 1-2 and attracted American and Pakistani investors from the private sector.
The conference was one of the first outcomes of the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership, which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Obama had announced during the visit of the Pakistani leader to Washington in October.
The new U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership initiative came as a result of the broader U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.
The partnership aims to facilitate private sector investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, including generation, transmission, and distribution.
Through the Partnership, the United States and Pakistan will cooperate to: attract local and international investment; develop an investment plan for expanding the role of clean energy systems; expand transmission capacity through selected infrastructure projects; and mobilize development financing to help attract private sector investments in hydropower, wind, solar, and natural gas projects.
USAID is along involved in Pakistan’s energy sector and along with the United States government is helping to secure funding for Pakistan’s two gigantic power projects, namely Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams to help meet Pakistan’s energy and water needs.
Speaking at the conference, Special Representatives on Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson said that under this new initiative the United States will facilitate private sector investment in Pakistan’s clean energy generation, transmission and distribution.
A great example of public-private partnership in Pakistan’s renewables sector is the Sapphire Group’s investment in wind power. The 50 megawatt Sapphire wind power plant project at Jhimpir was made possible by collaboration between the Pakistani government, private sector investors, OPIC and USAID, and American and multinational companies.