Pakistan IPP acquires Laraib Energy, to build 84-MW New Bong Escape

Pakistan's largest independent power producer, thermal generator Hub Power Co. Ltd. (HUBCO), is moving into the hydropower sector with acquisition of 75 percent of Laraib Energy Ltd., developer of Pakistan's first privately financed hydro project, 84-MW New Bong Escape.

HUBCO said August 4 that it plans to begin construction by the end of the year on New Bong Escape, a run-of-river project at the tail of Bong Canal, a major irrigation canal downstream from 1,000-MW Mangla Dam. (HNN 9/5/07) Upon completion in 2011 on the Jhelum River in Azad, Jammu and Kashmir State, New Bong is to sell power to Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority and National Transmission and Dispatch Co.

"Acquisition of the 84-MW renewable energy project goes further to demonstrate HUBCO's commitment to safer environment," HUBCO Chief Executive Javed Mahmood said. "Implementation of the project will also contribute toward Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol."

Pakistan's Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) signed an implementation agreement in September 2007 with Laraib, then a subsidiary of Ranhill Berhad, a Malaysian engineering and utility holding company. The developer achieved financial close in July 2007.

Laraib had completed financing arrangements with the Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank, which are providing US$37.3 million each, and with two Pakistan banks, National Bank of Pakistan and Habib Bank Ltd., which are providing US$23 million each, for a total US$120.6 million.

An additional US$40.2 million in equity funding is to be supplied by Laraib shareholders for a total project cost of US$160.8 million.

Under previous agreements, Ranhill subsidiary Ranhill Engineering Construction is to be the project's engineering-procurement-construction contractor. Zhefu of China is to supply four bulb turbine-generators.

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