The projects were announced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton following the U.S., Pakistan bilateral strategic dialogue meeting in Islamabad yesterday, and include Phase II of the U.S. Signature Energy Program and a new Signature Water Program for Pakistan.
As part of the Phase II Signature Energy Program, which will provide $60 million for seven projects, the U.S. will work with the Karachi Electric Supply Company to conduct a study to determine the viability of an integrated smart grid system in Karachi. The project includes the potential for a large smart grid pilot project that could help reduce the utility’s electricity losses estimated to reach as high as 40 percent.
As part of the Signature Water Program, which will cover seven projects costing over $270 million, the U.S. will work with the Jacobabad and Peshawar municipalities over five years to rehabilitate or construct water storage, supply, distribution, and metering systems and improve the water services delivery management capacity of the Northern Sindh Utility Services Corporation and the Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The Phase II Signature Energy Program extends the first phase of the Program, which was announced by Secretary Clinton during her October 2009 visit to Pakistan, and other projects include supporting hydropower developments, furthering the development of natural gas, and studies on biomass, wind power and solar PV installations on schools.
According to a statement implementation of the six Phase 1 projects are underway. Among these, work has begun with the electricity distribution companies in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Quetta and Multan in a three year project aimed at lowering their electricity losses to a level comparable to those of well-run distribution companies in developed countries. Typical losses for the distribution companies in Pakistan are around one third, due to weak management, non-payment by government and consumers for electricity consumed, and high technical losses from worn-out equipment.
The Signature Water Program is aimed at improving Pakistan’s ability to increase efficient management and use of its scarce water resources and improve water distribution. Other projects include supporting municipal service delivery, irrigation and water storage developments, and a professional exchange visit by Pakistani experts in water management to the U.S.