US ambassador Olson pledges $150mn for energy turbines

-File photo

On a visit to Mangla Dam, US Ambassador Richard Olson pledged up to $ 150 million to replace worn turbines with new, custom-built turbines that will help increase total output from 1,000 to 1,210 megawatts.

These upgrades will also allow the power plant to operate efficiently for another 40 years, keeping an additional 600 megawatts in operation.

“US government assistance helped build Mangla Dam,” Ambassador Olson told the media. “Now, nearly 50 years later, the United States is helping to repair the dam to make sure it continues to produce the energy this country needs”, according to a press release issued by the US Embassy here on Wednesday.

Ambassador Olson added, “Our commitment to help repair Mangla Dam today builds upon efforts begun in the 1960s.

The United States was then, as it is now, committed to working with the Government of Pakistan on large-scale energy projects that help the people of Pakistan live secure and prosperous lives.”

This project to upgrade the Mangla Dam power station is just one element of a comprehensive US energy assistance programme in Pakistan, which includes renovating the power plant at the Tarbela Dam, upgrading the Guddu, Jamshoro, and Muzafaragarh power plants, and completing the construction of new Satpara and Gomal Zam dams, it added.

The United States is also providing support and expertise to the Ministry of Water and Power and Pakistan’s nine power distribution companies to reduce energy transmission losses, increase revenues, and improve the overall management of the energy system to bring long-term sustainability to Pakistan’s energy sector.

Together, these large-scale energy investments will add 900 megawatts to the power grid by 2013 – enough power to supply electricity to an estimated two million households, the press release added.