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US envoy pledges new support to alleviate Pakistan’s energy crisis

Maverick Report

ISLAMABAD: During a visit to Mangla Dam, US Ambassador Richard Olson pledged up to $150 million to replace worn turbines with new, custom-built turbines that will help Pakistan increase total output from 1,000 to 1,210 megawatts of electricity.

According to statement issued by the US embassy here on Wednesday, these upgrades will also allow the power plant to operate efficiently for another 40 years, keeping an additional 600 megawatts in operation.

Glimpses of US Ambassador Richard Olson’s visit to Mangla Dam along with WAPDA Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah:

 “US government assistance helped build Mangla Dam,” Ambassador Olson told the media. “Now, nearly 50 years later, the United States is helping to repair the dam to make sure it continues to produce the energy this country needs.”

Ambassador Olson added: “Our commitment to help repair Mangla Dam today builds upon efforts begun in the 1960s. The United States was then, as it is now, committed to working with the Government of Pakistan on large-scale energy projects that help the people of Pakistan live secure and prosperous lives.”

The project to upgrade the Mangla Dam power station is just one element of a comprehensive US energy assistance program in Pakistan, which includes renovating the power plant at the Tarbela Dam, upgrading the Guddu, Jamshoro, and Muzaffargarh power plants, and completing the construction of the new Satpara and Gomal Zam dams, the statement said.

It said the United States is also providing support and expertise to Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power and nine power distribution companies to reduce energy transmission losses, increase revenues and improve the overall management of the energy system to bring long-term sustainability to the country’s energy sector.

“Together, these large-scale energy investments will add 900 megawatts to the power grid by 2013 — enough power to supply electricity to an estimated two million households,” the statement said.

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