Balakot HPP to boost economic opportunities in KPBreaking

May 25, 2023

Fozia Azam

The 300MW Balakot Hydropower Project is aimed at empowering the local community, particularly women associated with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), by providing them with uninterrupted electricity at affordable rates, said a senior official. “In Pakistan, a large population, particularly women, work in the informal sectors and are largely associated with SMEs. Long hours of power outages badly affect their productivity and livelihood,” said Aziz Raza, Project Director of Balakot Hydropower Project, while talking to WealthPK.

Due to particular geographic location, the northern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are isolated and have low socio-economic indicators compared to other parts of the country. This, combined with irregular power supply, further adds to the woes of local community and result in marginalisation of local people’s opportunities to participate in economic activities. Aziz was of the view that improved electricity supply will provide more economic opportunities for the remote communities of KP, particularly women. During the construction phase, the project is estimated to provide more than 1,200 jobs for workers, including skilled and unskilled labour, of which around 40% are anticipated to be sourced from the local area. This will help uplift their living standard.

The project is aimed at utilising the hydropower potential of KP, which will help meet the province’s needs of energy besides promoting industrial activities. Upon completion, the project will help enhance the provincial economy and promote revenue generating investments. The 300MW run-of-river project is expected to generate 1,143GWh energy annually. The planned completion date of Balakot HPP is December 2027. As per the calculations by Asian Development Bank, the project will generate annual revenue of $84.239 million.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk