Flagship visit of Austrian Foreign Minister, business delegation to WAPDA House : Keen interest shown for partnering in construction of WAPDA Projects

Flagship visit of Austrian Foreign Minister, business delegation to WAPDA House : Keen interest shown for partnering in construction of WAPDA Projects

March 18, 2022: Austrian Foreign Minister Mr. Mag. Alexender Schallenberg accompanied by Austrian Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Nicolaus Keller and a high-level Austrian business delegation today visited WAPDA House to explore ways and means for partnering with WAPDA in construction of its mega projects in water and hydropower sectors.

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This was the maiden visit of such a high-profile dignitary from a European country to WAPDA House along with a large delegation comprising senior officials of leading firms hailing from Austria. The significance of this visit can be gauged from the fact that the Austrian Ambassador, in his conversation with WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd), declared it their “flagship visit”.

WAPDA Chairman and Members of the Authority welcomed the delegation at WAPDA House.

The Chairman briefed delegation of WAPDA’s mandate, its development portfolio, financial strength and expertise to successfully implement mega projects. Giving a rundown of under-construction projects, he said that WAPDA is implementing as many as 10 projects of more than US$26 billion under the vision “Decade of Dams” to be completed from 2022 to 2028-29 in a phased manner, adding 11.7 million acre feet of water to the existing water storage capacity and 11,369 megawatt (MW) to the installed generating capacity of clean, green and low-cost hydel electricity. WAPDA projects, Diamer Basha Dam in particular, have tremendous business opportunities. The Austrian firms, like other foreign and local companies, may benefit from these opportunities by participating in international competitive processes for the purpose, he further said.

Referring to the successful launch of debut Green Euro Bond in London Stock Exchange last year by WAPDA on the back of its robust capital structure and strong balance sheet, the Chairman said that WAPDA has devised an innovative financing strategy with no or meagre reliance on the national exchequer to construct its projects particularly Diamer Basha Dam, Mohmand Dam and Dasu Hydropower Project. This reflects strong ties of WAPDA with prestigious financial institutions from across the globe particularly in US, Europe and Asia including China and Middle East, he added.

The Austrian Foreign Minister appreciated WAPDA for its contribution towards development of a sustainable and low-carbon economy of Pakistan, adding that he is pleased to know about WAPDA’s portfolio of development projects. He expressed the hope that Austrian firms will make use of the opportunities embedded in these projects and become partner of WAPDA in mutual progress.

Speaking on the occasion, Austrian Ambassador said that he is confident that this visit will help enhance ties between WAPDA and Austrian firms. The visiting high-ups of the Austrian firms briefed about the portfolios of their companies and showed keen interest in WAPDA projects.

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