Pakistan team to soon visit India to discuss power import

NEW DELHI: Battling an acute power crisis in their country, a team of government officials from Pakistan will soon visit India towork out the technical modalities for procurement of 500 MW electricity. 

The team is also likely to to conduct site inspection for the proposed power procurement through transmission lines from Amristar to Lahore, sources said. 

As per a proposal discussed between the two countries, the plan is to establish the transmission links to state-run Power Grid's sub-station located in Balachak, Amristar. 

Once the transmission links are in place, Pakistan can purchase 
electricity from Indian power exchanges at market prices. 

However, the setting up of the transmission lines may take some time, as establishing the HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) system entails significant investment. 

Pakistan, which is grappling with severe power shortages, is looking to have tranmission lines operational at the earliest so that it can initially import about 150 to 200 MW electricity for some parts of Lahore, sources said. 

Depending on the success of the system and 
investments, Pakistan is looking to increase procurement to 500 MW, while eventually it wants as much as 1,000 MW from India. 

Last month, an Indian delegation, including Rita Acharya, Joint Secretary in the Power Ministry, had visited Pakistan. 

The delegation held discussions with Water and Power Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif, Punjab Chief Minister 
Shahbaz Sharif and representatives of the National Transmission And Despatch Company Ltd, among others. 

The proposal for supplying electricity to Pakistan has been on the cards for quite sometime and earlier also there were discussions between the two sides on it. Power shortages had also become a major issue during the recent elections, won by Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N.