The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is to extend a US$ 72 million loan in support of the construction of the Mohmand multipurpose dam project on the river Swat in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The loan agreement was signed on 15 June by HE Aftab Ahmad Khokher, Ambassador of Pakistan to Austria, and OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa. This will help finance the dam and an 800 MW hydropower
station that will contribute to Pakistan’s energy security, increase sustainable water supply for agriculture and human consumption and improve resilience to floods.
The Mohmand project, which aligns with the priorities of Pakistan’s Vision 2025 development strategy, will cost US$2.2 billion and will be co-financed with the Islamic Development Bank, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and Saudi Fund for Development. The Government of Pakistan is contributing almost US$ 1 billion through its own resources and proceeds from a Green Eurobond issued last year.
A consortium led by China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) with DESCON Power Solutions of Pakistan is implementing the multipurpose project on behalf of Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) under a US$ 1.3 billion contract that was signed in March 2019 (see H&D Issue 3, 2019). Voith Hydro Shanghai Limited (VHS) has been contracted by CGGC to supply four 200 MW Francis units and online monitoring systems for the plant. The project will involve the construction of a 213 m-high, 760 m-long CFRD, which will impound a reservoir with a gross storage capacity of 1.59 ¥ 109 m3 and a live storage of 833.8 ¥ 106 m3. The first unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025, with all units to be in commercial operation in 2026. The hydro plant is expected to generate an estimated average annual output of 2862 GWh. The project will also contribute to the socio-economic development of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan’s third largest region, where nearly 80 per cent of the population lives in rural areas. The project will offer about 6000 jobs at the peak period of construction and generate annual revenue of around €320 million (US$ 377 million). It will provide water for the irrigation of more than about 67.6 km2 of new agricultural land and supplement the irrigation of 647.5 km2 of existing land as well as providing 140 ¥ 106 m3/year of drinking water to Peshawar city, the region’s capital.
Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, OPEC Fund Director-General, said: “The Mohmand multipurpose dam is a landmark project for Pakistan and is critical to a number of the country’s strategic national priorities. It will help to tap Pakistan’s huge hydropower potential, boost agricultural production and strengthen local communities’ environmental resilience”.