Skip to main content
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has recently given the green light to a second round of additional funding amounting to $1 billion for the DASU Hydropower Stage I (DHP I) Project. This financial injection aims to bolster the expansion of hydropower electricity supply, enhance access to socio-economic services for local communities, and bolster the capacity of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to prepare for future hydropower endeavors.

Najy Benhassine, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, underscored the myriad challenges facing Pakistan’s energy sector in its quest for affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy. The DHP I Project, situated in one of the prime hydropower sites globally, is poised to be a game-changer for Pakistan’s energy landscape. With its minimal environmental impact, the DHP promises to contribute to the “greening” of the energy sector while driving down electricity costs.

READ MORE: Government, ISPs to Share Social Media Blocking Costs

Located approximately 8 km from Dasu Town, the capital of the Upper Kohistan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the DHP is a run-of-river project on the Indus River. Upon completion, it is expected to boast an installed capacity ranging from 4,320 to 5,400 MW. The project is being developed in phases, with DHP-I set to deliver 2,160 MW and generate 12,225 gigawatt hours (GWh)/year of low-cost renewable energy. Subsequently, DHP-II will augment this capacity, contributing 9,260–11,400 GWh per year from the same dam.

Rikard Liden, Task Team Leader for the Project, emphasized DHP-I’s pivotal role in Pakistan’s endeavors to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and achieve a 60 percent renewable energy target by 2031. The additional financing is poised to facilitate the expansion of electricity supply, potentially saving Pakistan an estimated $1.8 billion annually by substituting imported fuels and offsetting around 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The projected annual economic return of DHP-I stands at approximately 28 percent.

Furthermore, the additional financing will continue to bolster ongoing socio-economic initiatives in Upper Kohistan, with a particular focus on education, health, employment, and transportation. Since 2012, adult literacy in the region has seen a remarkable increase of approximately 30 percent, with boys’ schooling rising by 16 percent and girls’ schooling by 70 percent during the same period.

The project will also sustain existing community development endeavors, encompassing infrastructure projects such as roads, irrigation schemes, schools, medical facilities, mosques, bridges, solar energy systems, and science laboratories and libraries. A particular emphasis will be placed on women beneficiaries, including initiatives such as establishing free healthcare clinics and camps staffed by female doctors and nurses, providing training for female health workers, livelihood and literacy programs for women, and awareness-raising initiatives on health and hygiene.

Leave a Reply