Ambassador Richard Olson and Power Information Technology Company CEO, Hasan Bokhari, led an inauguration ceremony at the Network Operations Center at the Lahore Water and Power Development Authority Office on Thursday. The facility was established through a partnership between Pakistan’s electricity distribution companies and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It will serve to alleviate Pakistan’s continuing energy crisis by allowing more effective management of available electricity and reducing unscheduled load shedding throughout Pakistan. The Center manages new state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems that have been installed in all ten government-owned power distribution companies (DISCOs), which will more efficiently allocate Pakistan’s electricity.
“The United States government is proud to work in partnership with the Government of Pakistan to take the necessary steps to resolve the energy crisis, which impacts so many Pakistanis,” stated Ambassador Olson. He added, “Consumers need to be aware of the planned load shedding schedules to effectively plan for their business and personal needs, and the National Power Control Center plays a vital role in helping Pakistanis navigate their day-to-day lives by helping the distribution companies better manage the electrical supply, and accurately communicate load shedding schedules.”
Currently, unscheduled and unpredictable load shedding is one of the most visible manifestations in Pakistan’s power crisis. It is a consequence of power shortages and the inefficient distribution of electricity. Such shortages impact both residential and business consumers. With this new system, consumers will know in advance about load shedding times, which will enable them to better plan their work and personal use of electricity.
The inauguration of the Network Operations Center marks one more accomplishment resulting from the wide-ranging partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan in the energy sector. As part of the U.S. government energy sector assistance program, USAID has funded renovations at Tarbela, Jamshoro, Mangla, Guddu, and Muzzafargharh power plants, aided the completion of Gomal Zam and Satpara dams, and helped improve power distribution throughout Pakistan. By the end of 2014, these efforts are expected to add a cumulative total of 1,400 megawatts to Pakistan’s national power grid, benefitting approximately 16 million people nationwide.