Further loans totalling US$250M are being considered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the small hydro power initiatives being pursued by the north west and Punjab provinces of Pakistan.

ADB is considering loans of US$100M and US$150M for the second and third projects, respectively, of the ‘Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Programme’ in the two provinces.

Last year ADB approved loans totalling US$115M for the first project of the renewables initiative. The sums were split in two tranches – a US$105M ordinary loan and US$10M from the Asian Development Fund.

The initiative aims to develop a cluster of small hydro plants on perennial high-head rivers across the North West Frontier Province as well as many low-head, high flow rate plants on the irrigation canals of Punjab province.

Eight projects already being looked at under the initiative are:

North West Frontier province

– Dharal Khwar (36.6MW)

– Ranolia Khwar (11.5MW)

– Machai Khwar (2.6MW)


– Marala (7.2MW)

– Chianwali (5.4MW)

– Deg Outfall (5.0MW)

– Okara (4.0MW)

– Papkatan (3.2MW)

According to the financial briefing document, over the coming decade approximately 325MW of new capacity is to be added to generate about 1700GWh annually on an average 60% load factor.

The report adds that feasibility studies on eight schemes were to be completed by 2008, then further clusters of projects were to be investigated every two years until 2014. In total, at least 30 schemes are to be checked, it says.

ADB noted that the scope of the initiative may be expanded further to other regions as well as utilising renewable resources other than hydro. The initiative was launched to help meet growing demand, especially in rural areas.