Islamabad, September 26, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan and Saudi Arabia here Thursday signed an Additional Loan Agreement of US$ 100 Million for Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP). Saudi Arabia has already been co-financing this Project with an amount of US$ 81 Million.
The Agreement was signed in a ceremony held in Economic Affairs Division. His Excellency Eng. Yousef Ibrahim al-Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) signed on behalf of Saudi Arabia and Ms. Nargis Sethi, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division signed on behalf of Government of Pakistan. Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al Ghadeer attended the signing ceremony.
The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Saif Ullah Chattha, Secretary Water and Power, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Chairman WAPDA and Lt. Gen. Muhammad Zubair (Retd.), CEO Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Company, alongwith other senior officers.
During the ceremony His Excellency Eng. Yousef Ibrahim al-Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) announced a grant of US 100 Million for social sector in the fields of health and education.
The Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) aims to provide the fast-growing energy requirements in Pakistan. It is expected to generate 969 MW of electricity for National Power Grid. Recognizing the importance of NJHP, Prime Minister has directed to complete this Project before the schedule time.
The Project has a total cost of Rs. 274 billion with a planned foreign funding of US$ 1,585 Million. In this regard US$ 1060 million have been committed by various donors including IDB, Saudi Fund, OPEC Fund, Kuwait Fund and China Exim Bank.
However, there is still a financial gap of US$ 475 Million. Pakistan is engaged with Kuwait Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund, Exim Bank Korea, China Exim Bank, Governments of Japan and Qatar to bridge this gap.
Welcoming the Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) the Secretary EAD said that the presence of the Excellency Ambassador at this signing ceremony reflects the magnitude of our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She said that Pakistan looks forward to the Saudi Arabia as brother. “It has always come forward to our assistance which Pakistani people always acknowledges with gratitude”.
She also highlighted the present government’s development agenda and its serious endeavours to bring socio-economic development by undertaking people oriented policies.
Eng. Yousef Ibrahim al-Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) on this occasion expressed the commitment of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the progress and development of people of Pakistan.
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