Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan has said that Balakot hydropower project will not only help unleash hydropower potential of the country but will also improve energy security by increasing clean and affordable energy share in the country’s energy mix. Omar Ayub said this on Friday while addressing the ceremony of signing of financing agreement of the project. Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan also witnessed the signing of financing agreement of the project amounting to US$ 300 million. The loan agreement was signed by Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Noor Ahmed and Cleo Kawawaki, Acting Country Director, ADB. Omar Ayub said that this run-of-river hydropower project will be constructed on Kunhar River in district Mansehra and it will generate 300 megawatt electricity. “The government is working on a renewable energy policy to harness immense potential in solar, wind and hydel resources and have good opportunities for investments”, he added. The minister appreciated the ADB’s valuable support for financing this highly important project. Speaking on the occasion, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan reiterated that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is working on development of hydropower potential of the province on a fast track basis. He mentioned that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is already making huge investments in development of various hydro sites in the province. He said that Balakot Hydropower project will provide livelihood by providing more than 1,200 jobs during the construction of the project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Once completed, this hydropower project will provide reliable and cheap energy to the national grid. It will also improve provincial revenues streams for the provincial government and boost economic activities in the country, he added. “This project shows the strong commitment of the PTI government to address the challenges of climate change through development of clean and renewable energy in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan”, the chief minister said. Director General ADB Eugene Zhukov assured of the banks’ continued support to help Pakistan diversify its energy sources, increase energy security through renewable & affordable energy mix and implement critical economic reforms. The director general thanked the minister for economic affairs and reiterated ADB’s commitment to further strengthen and expand its partnership with Pakistan in the priority sector for socioeconomic development of the country.