Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malkiy on Wednesday informed a Pakistani official that the kingdom has approved 901 million Saudi Riyal (Rs37.4 billion) for Mohmand Hydropower Project.

The Saudi ambassador told Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan in Islamabad that the loan will be issued at a relatively low rate of 2% for a period of 25 years. “This dam will be constructed on Swat River in District Mohmand of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and generate 800MW of electricity,” an official statement issued after the meeting said.

 

The dam would also irrigate 16,000 acres of land, boosting agriculture output in the region, according to the statement. “This dam will contribute significantly to the province’s socio-economic development.”

 

The Saudi ambassador briefed the minister on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s successful visit to Saudi Arabia and the outcomes. Ayub highlighted that the Mohmand Hydropower Project would not only help unlock the hydropower potential of the K-P province but would also increase energy security by boosting the country’s hydropower share in the energy mix.

 

“Our government is focusing on environment-friendly and affordable energy through the development of solar, wind, and hydel resources”, he added. The minister praised Saudi Arabia’s assistance in critical development sectors.

 

Both parties also addressed bilateral economic cooperation and pledged to go on with existing development initiatives. Ayub assured the Saudi envoy that the financial assistance would be utilized expeditiously.

 

According to the statement, the Saudi ambassador promised the minister of his continuous assistance at all levels in order to further expand economic relations between the two brotherly countries. He stated that Saudi Arabia is dedicated to playing a significantly greater role in Pakistan’s socio-economic growth. The envoy also praised the contribution of Pakistani workers to the kingdom’s prosperity.

 

Mohmand Dam is being built across Swat River in Mohmand tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with a gross water storage capacity of 1.2 MAF and power generation capacity of 800MW.

 

In addition, the dam will provide 300 million gallons of drinking water per day to Peshawar. And not only that, but the Mohmand Dam is also of immense importance as it is the only project that can save Peshawar, Charsadda, and Naushehra from devastating floods. In terms of electricity, irrigation, and flood protection, the country will accrue an annual benefit of Rs51 billion after the completion of the dam.

 

At present, there are only two major dams in Pakistan – Tarbela and Mangla. The former was built in 1977, and its storage capacity has dropped to 6.4 MAF against the earlier 9.4 MAF. However, following a structure-raising project, the capacity of Mangla Dam has been increased by 3 MAF to 7.4 MAF.