World Bank Approves A $1 Billion Loan For Pakistan's Key Hydropower Project

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The World Bank said Tuesday it has approved $1 billion for the construction of Pakistan's biggest Dasu hydropower project, which is being built in the country's northwest with China's help.

The loan would be used to expand the hydropower electricity supply and improve access for local communities, the bank said in a statement.

"Pakistan’s energy sector suffers from multiple challenges to achieving affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy,” said Najy Benhassine, the World Bank director for Pakistan. The Dasu hydropower project site is a game changer for the Pakistan energy sector, he said.

The bank said the project will contribute to "greening# the energy sector and lowering the cost of electricity. The dam is being built in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, and once completed, it will have an installed capacity of 4,320 to 5,400 megawatts.

Thousands of Chinese have been working on the Dasu dam and other projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Some have been attacked in recent years by militants who accuse them of plundering mineral resources.