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MOSCOW, May 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Pakistan hopes that Russia will provide support for overcoming the severest energy crisis, Pakistan’s Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said.
“At present, Pakistan suffers electricity shortage because it did not increase its capacities over the last 10-15 years,” Asif said in an exclusive interview with ITAR-TASS on Monday.
“Electricity increases in price permanently, particularly in summer. Its shortage prevents the expansion of the economic base and has a negative impact on the growth of GDP, industrial efficiency and the amount of export,” he said.
“I hope that we’ll succeed in improving the situation in this sphere before the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2018,” Asif said.
“We’ve worked out and implemented a plan for increasing electricity production in the next five years, and for expanding and modernizing power lines,” he said.
“Firstly, we seek to guarantee energy sufficiency in the long term. Secondly, it is necessary to make electricity accessible for the population by setting a reasonable price,” Asif said.
Pakistan seeks to develop the coal industry and the gas sector, as well as the hydropower industry, he said.
Russia's support for Pakistan's energe sector
Pakistan hopes for the support of Russia “as the richest energy country”. “We also hope for cooperation with the Central Asian countries,” Asif said.
“Russia invested in the construction and modernization of Jamshoro, Muzaffarabad and Guddu Thermal Power Plants,” he said.
“The Jamshoro project is financed by the Asia Development Bank. But the priority should be given to Russian companies due to Soviet specialists’ solid experience in Pakistan,” Asif said.
He mentioned the Diamer-Bhasha, Dasu, Bunji, Pattan and Tarbela projects.
“Islamabad also proposes to discuss a variant for Russian natural gas supplies by a pipeline and Russia’s involvement in the CASA-1000 project that provides for export of excess electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,” he said.
“It is necessary to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector and other fields,” Asif said.