The federal government of Pakistan is seeking a loan of $50m from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the construction of two small to medium sized hydropower plants each with a capacity of 2MW and 4MW in the Gilgit-Baltistan.

The two hydropower plants are expected to be constructed in Skardu and Chilas, and the formal approval of ADB, which has agreed to finance the projects, is expected by the end of March 2011, according to Dawn.

A total of 93 hydropower stations ranging in capacity from 0.1MW to 18MW, and a combined capacity of 77.4MW are currently in place in Gilgit-Baltistan, which has an estimated 40,000MW potential hydropower resources to be developed on rivers and streams.

Though Gilgit-Baltistan has a large energy resource potential and its climate conditions trigger high energy demand, the region has the lowest rate of access to electricity supply.