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France provides 68 million Euros for renewable hydropower energy

France inked on Friday an agreement with Pakistan to fund the 48MW Jaggran-II Hydro-power Project to help the country meet its energy crisis.

The agreement was signed by Additional Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Iftikhar Ahmad Rao; Ambassador of France, Philippe Thiā€™baud and Country Director of the French Development Agency (AFD), Nicolas Fornage.

Under the agreement, besides the soft loan of 68 millions Euros to Pakistan, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) is also providing a grant for capacity-building of HEB. To reduce the power demand, the AFD is co-financing with Asian Development Bank (ADB) a multi-tranche programme on energy efficiency in domestic and industrial sectors.

To improve the power supply, the AFD is supporting the development of renewable energies, currently with Jabban, 22MW project in the Malakand district, and Jaggran-II hydropower projects.

PROPARCO, a subsidiary of AFD for the private sector development, has also invested 40 million Euros during the last three years in the energy sector, including the New Bong Escape Hydropower Project; and is looking forward to supporting Independent Power Producers, energy efficiency, agro-industries and microfinance.

The AFD has also recently approved a soft loan of 11 million Euros to fund detailed design studies for the Munda hydropower project, located in Mohmand Agency.As a member of the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan, France pledged 300 million Euros at the Tokyo ministerial conference in 2009. With the funding agreement for Jaggran-II signed with the EAD, France has now a portfolio of projects amounting to 213 million

Euros for the water and energy sector in Pakistan, corresponding to 73 per cent of its pledge.

The project entails construction of a 48 MW Hydropower Plant located about 90km North-East of Muzaffarabad city. The project will be built in the upper extent of Jaggran Nullah, a right bank tributary of the Neelum River.

It will be located downstream of the existing 30.4MW Jaggran-I Hydro-Electric Power Project, funded earlier with French support, and being operated since 2000 by the Hydro-Electric Board (HEB).

Jaggran-II Hydroelectric Power Project will operate as a run-of-the-river scheme and will not entail any major environmental or social constraints. It will be connected to the national grid, and will help alleviate the energy crisis in Pakistan.

Upon commissioning in 2015, it will provide a reliable source of renewable energy and a permanent supply of electricity for the 1.2 million people living in the Muzaffarabad area, with strong social and economical positive impacts.

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