For decades, Pakistan has struggled to supply electricity to its fast-growing population of 180 million.
About a third of Pakistanis are not connected to the power grid, and those that are face blackouts that routinely last 12 hours. The lack of electricity frustrates residents, stymies businesses, and depresses economic growth by an estimated 3 percent annually.
To help change that, in 2015 IFC mobilized $64.5 million in financing for Engro, a leading Pakistani conglomerate, to support
the construction of Pakistan’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. Located at Port Qasim, near Karachi, the cutting-edge facility has helped Pakistan ramp up LNG imports to fire many of its power plants.
The terminal can handle up to 4.5 million tons of natural gas every year, helping to ease the country’s crippling power shortages and reduce its reliance on more expensive fuels, like diesel.
It has also provided well-paying jobs for people like Sumama Mehmood Mirza, an engineer who has worked at Engro since 2012. “LNG is a game changer for energy-deficient countries,” he says. “This project has given me immense job satisfaction.”
Since IFC began investing in Pakistan’s power sector, its clients have generated more than 4,000 MW of new electricity, helping about 12 million people.