(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s top utility is looking to tap overseas lenders to help meet growing power demand as the nation grapples with an ongoing energy crisis.  

K-Electric Ltd. is currently in talks with financial institutions abroad for between $350 million to $400 million, Chief Executive Officer Moonis Abdullah Alvi said in an interview. 

Karachi’s power distributor is seeking government approval on a $2 billion capital expenditure plan for the next seven years, which aims to increase its share of renewable energy to 30% by 2030, expand generation capacity and strengthen the grid. 

The move comes as Pakistan, which earlier this year was on the verge of default, is facing a fuel shortage after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent energy prices surging. Household electricity rates have jumped in the past year, with the latest hike triggering protests across the nation. 

The company that has been the sole electricity utility provider in Karachi is also gearing up for competition as its monopoly in the city is set to end this year. K-Electric is looking to buy minority stakes of less than 20% in new power plants to ensure electricity supply, and also help convert fuel oil power plants to coal, Alvi said. 

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.