InfraCo Asia Development Pte. Ltd (InfraCo Asia), a company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is hoping to open up future private sector investment in small hydropower projects in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province of Pakistan following the signing of an agreement to develop four new hydropower schemes in the region.

InfraCo Asia has entered into the Joint Investment and Development Agreement (JIDA) with Markhor Energy for the development of the portfolio of projects in KPK with a projected combined power potential of approximately 100MW. The projects will be implemented by Equicap Asia, InfraCo Asia’s contracted Developer Team for south Asia.

“InfraCo Asia’s investment in the KPK hydropower projects is aimed at providing a proof-of-concept for future small hydropower development throughout Pakistan,” explained InfraCo Asia CEO Allard Nooy. “InfraCo Asia’s agreement with Markhor Energy supports our aim to serve as a catalyst for private sector investment. By developing the KPK projects in a sustainable manner that supports the health of local economies, together we will chart a path for other firms to follow in the future.”

Markhor Energy CEO Ali Maskatiya added: “Markhor Energy passionately believes that energy independence is paramount for Pakistan’s sustainable future development. Pakistan is blessed with abundant renewable sources of energy, including significant hydropower potential. Markhor has spent the early years of its development putting together a compelling portfolio of hydropower concessions for development, and we are excited to be partnering with InfraCo Asia on developing the KPK portfolio of projects. We hope to benefit from InfraCo Asia’s deep experience and skill as we embark on these initiatives. Markhor is encouraged by Pakistan’s newly appointed government’s public endorsements of renewable energy projects, and we look forward to playing our part to help the country reach its renewable energy potential. We aim to serve as a torch bearer for others to follow.”

Pakistan has hydropower potential of 41,700MW and 24,000MW of this potential is in the KPK province. There are currently no hydropower projects in operation in the private sector, and all small hydropower projects currently in operation are in the public sector. While private sector investors have expressed interest in small-to-medium- size projects (less than 100MW) in the KPK province, they have not moved forward because the current risk profile is high. Because this challenge exists, one of the intentions of the KPK projects is to help pave the way for other private sector investors to tap into the vast potential for hydropower development in the region.