PAKISTAN IS PLANNING TO produce 23,250MW of hydroelectric power and is taking steps to address water issues.

The secretary for water and power, Akram Sheikh told participants at a meeting of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) that eight new hydro power plants of 750MW would be built on a priority basis at a cost of US$770M.

Ten new hydroelectric power projects with a combined, total capacity of 6500MW are also planned in the medium term at a cost of US$47.7B. In the long term, 16 hydro projects with a total capacity of 16,000MW will be undertaken at a cost of US$24B, and will be completed by 2015.

It is not yet clear where the US$32.4B required to construct the new hydroelectric power projects will come from. But the secretary assured participants at the PDF meeting that commitments made with investors will be honoured and that the climate for foreign investment is now conducive.

According to the secretary, the key message the government was trying to get across to participants at the PDF meeting was that the government is trying to tackle the issues relating to water and power. The secretary said that a regulatory framework has been provided by ensuring transparency in undertaking new power projects.