Printable Version

OPIC to finance up to $250 million in support of K-Electric

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

(OPIC)  Washington D.C. - K-Electric Limited (“K-Electric”) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, have executed a commitment letter for a US$250 million, 10-year financing project in a signing ceremony attended by the Honorable Senator Ishaq Dar, the Finance Minister of Pakistan. The ceremony was held at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. today.

K-Electric supplies electricity to the city of Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city, as well as to nearby towns in the provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh. Electricity outages and shortfalls are recognized as a key constraint to economic growth and stability in Pakistan. The OPIC loan will be used by K-Electric to undertake a comprehensive and transformative upgrade of the K-Electric power grid. The K-Electric grid strengthening project will significantly improve the reliability, stability and efficiency of the K-Electric power network. The project will increase K-Electric’s transmission system capacity by 33% (up to 1000MVA), thereby allowing it to deliver more energy to its customers. The project will also help support K-Electric’s loss-reduction measures and will include an innovative smart grid initiative to more accurately distribute and utilize existing power.

The K-Electric project is eligible for OPIC’s support because of the participation of Citibank N.A., Pakistan (“Citi”) in the form of a US$20.8 million direct loan to the project. The OPIC and Citi loans are part of a US$450 million investment by K-Electric into its transmission and distribution systems, including the installation of new substations, transmission line equipment, grid stations and other transmission and distribution enhancements and upgrades over the next 36 months.

Tayyab Tareen, Chief Executive Officer of K-Electric executed the commitment letter on behalf of K-Electric and said, “We are extremely pleased to have OPIC involved to support this landmark project, which will enhance our transmission network and have a long-term sustainable impact on improving the power availability in Karachi. The partnership with OPIC is an important building block in our vision for the energy sector that we look forward to replicate in our future efficiency improvement projects.”

“This exciting project marks another milestone in OPIC’s continued support for Pakistan’s power sector – particularly in renewable energy. K-Electric’s forward-thinking update of power transmission in and around Karachi helps to build a reliable electricity foundation for the people of Pakistan. I commend The Abraaj Group’s very impressive revitalization work with its partner company, K-Electric, and OPIC is proud to be able to support the project,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO.

Nadeem Lodhi, Managing Director & Citi Country Officer, Pakistan commented that, “We are delighted to catalyze this significant financing for K-Electric, which reiterates our commitment to the country and restates our strategy of leading innovative international financing solutions for our clients in Pakistan.”