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Japan to lend $24m for Islamabad-Burhan transmission line


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Japan on Thursday signed $24 million loan for execution of Islamabad-Burhan transmission line project that will connect electricity from Tarbela-IV project of 1,410MW and help in reducing loadshedding.

While declaring 2017 as 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan, visiting Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi and Pakistan’s Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif witnessed signing of loan agreement here at the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) on Thursday.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will implement the loan project. The objective of the project is to improve reliability of the national grid and to meet the growing demand for electricity transmission through reinforcement of transmission lines necessary for power supply to Islamabad capital territory and surrounding areas, thereby contributing to the improvement of economic infrastructure of Pakistan. The scope of the project includes civil work and equipment for transmission lines of 220KV between Tarbela Hydropower Plant and the Burhan sub-station. Government of Japan has provided the loan on very concessional terms and conditions with interest rate of Japanese Yen LIBOR plus 10 bases point (equivalent to 0.12 percent) and repayment during 30 years including 10 years grace period.
Prior to the signing ceremony, Nobuo Kishi, State Minister of Foreign Affairs met Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Asif who said that Pakistan looked forward to further economic cooperation with Japan for the benefit of the people of Pakistan in line with government’s priorities and strategy. He explained that Pakistan is fast improving its energy basket and had introduced investor-friendly policies to attract a large number of investment in the energy sector.
The minister for water and power said that Pakistan’s effort towards benefiting from renewable resources of energy was highly appreciated at all forums. He said that the new energy mix introduced by the present government was quite rich and had the potential to bring down the prices of electricity in the country. He invited Japanese entrepreneurs to invest in the potential energy sector of Pakistan.
The minister applauded the Japan-Pakistan cooperation in various fields. He especially mentioned the Japanese assistance in power sector.
Nobuo Kishi, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked the Pakistan Government for the hospitality accorded to him. He assured that Japan will continue to work with Pakistan in various fields. He said that Japan looked forward to even warmer rations between the two countries.
Minister for Water and Power Kh Asif stated that Pakistan values Japan’s assistance in the field of energy and Japan’s economic cooperation has played imperative role in development of socio economic sector with main focus on human uplift, poverty reduction and capacity building of our institutions. Energy sector has direct impact on economic growth and prosperity of Pakistan. Total loan assistance from Japan stands at $ 960 million and grant at $156 million.
Earlier, on Thursday Japanese Embassy arranged background briefing for journalists where they were informed that Japan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs would be visiting Pakistan on May 4 and 5, 2017 for holding meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Advisor to National Security Nasir Janjua and other ministers. To a query about reduction in ODA (Official Development Assistance) from Japan over the years, the Embassy official said that now it was expected that relations would be strengthened in years to come. About the CPEC, he said that Japan was not concerned about it and they were hopeful that it would create more opportunities for the private sector to grow and contribute for the betterment of the country. 
Source: The News