Acumen Fund announces First Energy Investment in Pakistan Hydropower project

Islamabad, May 06, 2013 (PPI-OT): Acumen, a pioneering non-profit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, today announced its first investment in the growing rural energy sector of Pakistan. Acumen is giving a loan of Rs. 86 Million to Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) to support the creation of four community managed micro-hydel units in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province in Pakistan. These plants will provide 24-hour clean electricity to remote off-grid communities in Chitral district, a region with limited access to electricity.

“There is a growing need for reliable power in Pakistan’s rural communities right now,” said Farrukh H. Khan, Pakistan Country Director, Acumen Fund. “AKSRP’s community-based model has the potential to provide millions with access to an important basic service and revolutionize the way poor Pakistanis access energy.”

Acumen Fund and AKRSP have joined hands to address the pressing energy needs of isolated rural communities in Chitral who are currently not connected to the national grid. Households living in the off-grid villages rely heavily on fuel wood and fossil fuels to meet their daily energy needs, thus adding to environmental fragility. Innovative private and community-based models of energy generation from clean sources can help address the energy crisis in such remote and underserved regions.

“We work very closely with the local communities to generate energy that is clean, affordable and reliable. The ultimate objective is to improve the quality of life of local communities by making energy available for small-scale commercial and household uses without burdening precious natural resources such as forests”, said Abdul Malik, CEO of AKRSP. “Acumen Fund’s investment will help local communities overcome the capital constraints and combine their own resources to provide reliable electricity to thousands of their members”.

The investment in four micro-hydel units will provide an opportunity to test and demonstrate the viability of investments in off-grid community-based models, paving the path for scaling-up through replication.

For more information, contact:
Sabina Ansari
Acumen Fund Pakistan
11-C, 4th Floor, 1st Commercial Lane,
Shahbaz Commercial, Phase VI
DHA Karachi, Pakistan
Phone: +92.21.3584.6430-2
Fax: +92.21. 584.6490
Email: sansari@acumenfund.org.

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