Snehesh Alex Philip
Islamabad: Pakistan and the US on Friday signed a USD 72 million agreement to refurbish and upgrade the Mangla dam located in the Mirpur district of Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).
The rehabilitation will improve the operating capacity of the hydroelectric plant at Mangala dam by 90 megawatts (MW), enough electricity for about 200,000 Pakistani households.
A total amount of USD 150 million is slated for the project, with USD 72 million allotted for this initial phase, a statement released by the US embassy here said.
USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb and the chairman of Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Syed Raghib Abbas Shah signed the agreement this evening at the offices of Advanced Engineering Associates International (AEAI), the project’s implementing partner.
“The work at Mangla builds upon efforts begun by the US in the 1960s, when the US government funded the construction of Mangla dam. The US understands that Pakistan is facing an energy crisis and we are committed to doing our part to alleviate it,” Gottlieb said.
Under the agreement, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will fund the refurbishment of two generators and the modernisation of ancillary equipment of the power house at the dam.
The new equipment will improve the reliability and efficacy of the Mangla dam for the next 40 years, the statement said.
The funding of the Mangla dam rehabilitation is one element of a comprehensive US energy assistance programme in Pakistan, which includes renovating the power plant at the Tarbela Dam, upgrading the Guddu, Jamshoro, and Muzaffargarh thermal power plants, and completing the construction of Satpara and Gomal Zam dams.
In total, United States energy programmes have added 1088 MW to Pakistan’s electrical power systems.