A state-run Russian firm, Inter RAO Engineering, has offered to invest $2 billion in Pakistan’s water and power sector projects, including Mohmand dam.
Inter RAO Engineering is one of the largest Russian public energy companies that has joint ventures with European companies like Siemens in Russia.
The Russian firm wants a deal on government to government basis between Russia and Pakistan. This Russian firm is also building a dam in Afghanistan on the Kabul River.
Pakistan and Russia have already signed a governmental agreement to build the north-south LNG pipeline. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for an offshore gas pipeline project. Now, Russia’s state run firm has offered investment in water and power projects in Pakistan.
Sources told The Express Tribune that representatives of the firm held a meeting with officials of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) in November 2018 and offered to invest $2 billion in Pakistan. The firm also expressed interest in investing in Mohmand dam.
The sources said the officials of the Russian firm had also held a meeting with Minister for Power Omar Ayub and expressed interest to invest in the Jamshoro Power Plant. The representatives also desired to meet the water minister but the meeting did not take place.
The officials said the Russian firm has shown keen interest to invest in Pakistan but it has not received a response so far. In another proposal, the firm has asked Pakistan authorities to club five small hydropower projects to execute in initial phase if the government is not ready to award big projects.
The Russian firm is ready to invest in some key water and power sector projects, including the 7,100MW Buji, 52MW Nauseri, 2,800MW Yulbo, 2,200MW Tangus and 800MW Mohmand dam projects.
The firm is also ready to provide technical support and financing for these projects. The total cost of these projects has been estimated at Rs318 billion.
The Indus River system has an identified hydropower potential of 60,185MW, out of which around 9,406MW is exploited, which accounts for 15.6 per cent of total identified potential. The Indus River has an identified hydropower potential of 39,558MW. Tributaries of the Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan have the potential of 1,698MW and tributaries in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 4,028MW.
The Jhelum River has an identified hydropower potential of 4,341MW, the Kunhar River 1,454MW, Neelum River and its tributaries1,769MW and the Poonch River 462MW. The Swat River and its tributaries have an Identified potential of 2,297MW and the Chitral River and its tributaries 2,285MW.