Pakistan is to get around 5,600 MW of electricity through five major projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by the year 2017-18.
Chinese companies are already working on these energy projects with full enthusiasm. The total cost of these projects has been estimated around 10 billion US dollar, being provided by the Chinese Banks. Some of the cost will be born by the companies themselves, which enjoy the complete support of the Chinese top leadership, this was stated by Pakistan’s Special Envoy on CPEC Zafaruddin Mahmood in an interview with INP here on Tuesday.
These projects will be functional as Independent Power Plants (IPPs) under the power purchase agreement and there will be no liabilities on the government of Pakistan as far as their construction is concerned. The government of Pakistan will purchase the electricity as per relevant IPPs rules and regulations.
These projects are: Port Qasim 1320 MW in Karachi, Hubco 1320 MW in Baluchistan, two units of coal-based power plants at Thar each of 320 MW, (two more units will be added in the second phase) 1000 MW Quaid-i-Azam solar Park project at Bhawalpur, Sahiwal 1320 MW Coal-fired project. Besides this, work is also in progress on Suki Kinari hydel power project of 800 MW in KPK that will be completed by 2019-2020.
Zafaruddin Mahmood further said that the two sides are also working closely for construction of infrastructure development projects under CPEC. He hoped that work on KKH-phase-II, Karachi-Lahore motorway (Multan-Sukkar section), Gwadar international airport and Gwadar East Bay Expressway will be started before the end of the year and completion is expected by the end of 2017.
The Chinese government is providing mixed loans facility (including grant assistance, interest-free and concessional loans) to undertake these projects.
Another important area of bilateral cooperation under the CPEC is the development of special industrial zones. To this effect, a pilot project at Gwadar is being started. The project will include a commercial complex (hotel, exhibition hall, apartments, and shopping mall), fish and marble processing factories and a captive power plant. China Overseas Port Holding company is investing for the project and the construction is expected to be started by the end this year.
Efforts are being made to make the pilot project operational by 2017. The special envoy said that the two sides remain in touch at various levels to ensure the implementation of CPEC in its true spirit. The CPEC, he said is major development in further consolidating Sino-Pak socio-economic partnership meeting the aspirations of their people.