John Kerry visits power substation to reaffirm United States’ commitment in helping address Pakistan’s Energy Crisis
Islamabad, August 01 2013 (PPI-OT): United States Secretary of State John Kerry spotlighted the U.S. commitment to working with Pakistan to address its energy crisis during a visit today to the Zero Point Grid Substation in Islamabad. Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif joined Secretary Kerry at the substation, where they both saw recently installed “smart meters” that allow for more efficient and cost-effective electricity distribution to millions of people.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded this project, which has helped install meters at all of Pakistan’s public electric utilities. The smart meters generate real-time load-data information, which is used to reduce unscheduled loadshedding, and to provide more people with reliable power. The end result of this program is more reliable electricity service across the country.
In remarks delivered at the power substation, Secretary Kerry singled out the lack of energy as one of the single greatest impediments to growth, observing that “how much energy we provide, and how fast, is going to be critical to the feelings of people in Pakistan that progress is being made in terms of their economic future.”
“I am proud to say that USAID funded energy projects have added more than 1200 megawatts of power to the national grid of Pakistan [by 2014]. That’s enough power to benefit more than several million households,” said Secretary Kerry.
The U.S. government’s energy efforts align with the key priorities of Pakistan’s recently unveiled National Power Policy. The policy identifies the need to improve transmission networks and minimize distribution inefficiencies, which is also the goal of this $230 million USAID-funded program.
Secretary Kerry also noted that U.S. efforts to enhance electricity transmission and distribution complement other large-scale energy projects, such as the rehabilitation of Tarbela and Mangla dams, and the renovation of thermal power plants in Jamshoro, Muzaffargarh, and Guddu.
Programs like the one at Zero Point work to ensure that power “generated from infrastructure projects is actually going to reach people reliably and efficiently. It’s an example of smart power through smart metering,” said Secretary Kerry.
Secretary Kerry said he was encouraged by the robust cooperation between Pakistan and the United States on matters of energy, and would advocate for projects that provide more energy to the people of Pakistan.
“The minute there is increased power, there will be more jobs, more economic opportunity, Pakistan will grow faster, and people will feel the difference. That’s something worth working for, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do” he concluded.
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