­MIRPUR (AJK)-A German delegation and the Wapda authorities discussed matters relating to financing of Wapda projects in water and hydropower sectors in the country.

The four-member delegation of KfW - a German Financial Institution - headed by its recently appointed Division Chief (Infrastructure and Finance) for Pakistan Ms. Veronica Garcia called on Wapda Chairman Muzammil Hussain at Wapda House.

Speaking on the occasion, the chairman said that Wapda holds a strong asset base, therefore, enjoys the trust of national and international financial institutions for arrangement of funds for its projects. During the year 2016 and 2017 alone, Wapda successfully arranged Rs100 billion from a consortium of the local banks for completing Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project. For Stage-I of Dasu Hydropower Project, financing was also secured to the tune of an unprecedented sum of Rs.144 billion from another consortium of the local banks, he added.

In addition, Wapda also managed the funds of $350 million by venturing into the international financial market on its own independent standing. The chairman said that the innovative financial strategy adopted by Wapda has been yielding good results for development of hydropower potential in Pakistan.

He apprised the delegation that Wapda was committed to initiating construction work within a year on two of its mega multi-purpose projects namely Mohmand and Diamer Basha dams. Both the projects will significantly add to the water storage and power generation capacities in the country. Similar to other hydro projects, Mohmand and Diamer Basha dams, too, provide excellent investment opportunities to local and international institutions.

The KfW can also make benefit of the opportunities to invest in Wapda projects, he added. In addition to Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams, the chairman also briefed the delegation about the upcoming Wapda projects including Bunji Hydropower Project, Lower Palas Valley Hydropower Project, Bara Dam and Kurram Tangi Dam etc. Later, KfW Division Chief thanked the Chairman for arranging the briefing about Wapda projects, adding that KfW and Wapda have been closely associated with each other for development of water and hydropower sectors for more than three decades. She said that KfW would look into possibility of funding upcoming Wapda projects.

The progress on KfW-funded Wapda projects was also reviewed during the meeting. These projects included Harpo Hydropower Project, Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project, Warsak 2nd Rehabilitation Project and Pakistan Glacier Monitoring Network.

Envoy pledges to boost Pak-German ties

MIRPUR (AJK): Germany’s Ambassador in Pakistan Martin Kobler called on AJK President Sardar Masood Khan at the Jammu and Kashmir House and discussed the matters of mutual interests.

The German Ambassador thanked the Pakistani people for the warmth and respect they had given to him and his country and said it was his mission to take Pakistan-German relations to a higher platform. He said that the people of Pakistan were talented and hardworking, and they possessed the potential to develop economically and acquire a special place amongst emerging nations.

Ambassador Martin Kobler said that Azad Kashmir was an attractive tourist destination and Germany looks forward to developing people to people as well as academic and cultural relations between Azad Kashmir and Germany. Already, he said, Germany had invested in small hydropower projects there and would look into the possibility of for vocational training programmes.

On the occasion, President Masood Khan said that Germany and Pakistan enjoy very close relations. Germany is perceived as a strong nation with a credible and powerful brand as a nation and its leadership in science, technology and manufacturing has helped establish the highest standards of excellence in the world, he said.

The president invited the German ambassador for exploring avenues for cooperation in Azad Kashmir particularly in the sectors of power generation, industrial development, startups, business incubators, skill development, and tourism. He complimented Ambassador Martin Kobler for being a very active, dynamic and successful diplomat and for promoting Pakistan-German relations most energetically.