ISLAMABAD - Both the government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to finalise the award of contract for the Jamshoro Power Generation Project (JPGP) by September, it is learnt reliably.

Secretary for Water and Power Yunus Dagha asked the ADB to finalise the process of award of contract by August however it was agreed later to complete the process in September. The decision was made at a meeting between the Ministry of Water and Power and the ADB team. The meeting reviewed the progress on different ongoing ADB-funded power projects and the overall performance of NTDC and DISCOs in improving the energy system.

Discussing the progress on Jamshoro Power Generation Project (JPGP), it was mutually agreed to complete the process of award of contracts as soon as possible. The ADB officials showed concern at the slow pace of work on JPGP. However, the secretary for water and power said that issues pertaining to acquisition of land and coal suppliers were expected to finalise by mid-April. The Asian Development Bank has already approved $900 million for the Jamshoro project and would disburse it when all formalities are completed.

Meanwhile, a press statement issued here stated that the water and power secretary briefed the ADB officials about the measures been taken by the ministry to increase the role of NTDC/DISCOs in ongoing projects. The ministry is concerned about increasing the capacity of NTDC/DISCOs on management, procurement and financial sides for which the ministry has been working for six months.  The ADB team shared that 81% of contracts had been awarded under distribution to various DISCOs. With this momentum, ADB portfolio in distribution sector is $567 million out of which 59% has already been disbursed.

In transmission sector, ADB is financing multiple projects amounting to $344 million of which 91% contracts have been awarded and 54% amounts have been disbursed. The ADB team showed satisfaction at pace of work and improved capacity. Three distribution and transmission line projects are very important for meeting the target set by the government to address power shortage by mid-2018.  The ministry informed the ADB, “We will leave no stone unturned to reform NTDC on operational lines, including planning, designing and implementation areas.” On the other hand, the ministry is looking for professionals, both from Pakistan and abroad, to engage them in executing this task on market based fair compensation packages. On the consumer side, the ministry is working to facilitate the customers, trace and correct wrong billing or over billing, mobile metering to ensure more transparent and fair distribution of electricity.

The secretary informed the ADB delegation that performance of the distribution companies had improved a lot over last two years. This is evident from the additional cash flows worth Rs116 billion due to better distribution and lower line losses. The ADB delegation appreciated the improvement in power sector and also showed satisfaction at the pace of the projects and distribution companies. The ADB delegation showed its interest in enhancing the level of cooperation beyond the existing level.