The U.S. government-sponsored exchange program would help to strengthen the planning and engineering functions at DISCOs throughout the country.
“The U.S. government is committed to helping the Government of Pakistan improve its power distribution system,” said Jock Conly, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission to Pakistan.
“Planners and engineers who experience well-run utilities in the United States firsthand, return to Pakistan with practical ideas to improve DISCO operations, reduce losses and, ultimately, to make sure consumers have a more reliable supply of power.”
The team will visit power utilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, and New Haven, Connecticut. This is the fifth study tour for DISCO officials organized by USAID under its Power Distribution Program.
Relieving Pakistan’s energy crisis is a top priority for U.S. assistance to Pakistan. In addition to improving DISCO operations, the U.S. government funds large-scale infrastructure efforts.
These include the rehabilitation of the Tarbela and Mangla dams and Jamshoro, Muzaffargarh and Guddu power plants, as well as the construction of the new Satpara, Gomal Zam and Kuram Tangi dams.
These projects are expected to add 900 megawatts to the national power grid by 2013 — equivalent to 20 percent of the country’s energy shortfall and enough energy to power two million households and businesses.