Power generation under CPEC to be rescheduled

Pakistan and China have slashed down projected power generation estimates from 10,000 MW to around 5,000 MW till 2018 under early harvest programme of CPEC because of delays in few projects including Rahimyar Khan and Muzzafargarh coal fired projects as well as couple of projects located in Sindh.

However, both sides agreed that some alternate hydropower projects on Indus River including Bhasha Dam would be considered for adjustments to make them part of CPEC framework, Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday.

The Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) under $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreed upon the principle of keeping the total capacity unchanged and reiterated for any future adjustments with mutual agreement and joint study by the experts.

“The additional inclusion of more projects such as modernisation of railways, roads and rail based mass transit system for provincial headquarters into CPEC framework will result into substantial increase into overall size of CPEC beyond $50 billion. The feasibility and technical studies will determine its exact cost,” Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said while addressing post Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting on CPEC here on Wednesday.

The minister explained that the CPEC and non CPEC power projects would help generate10, 000 MW till 2018 as CPEC projects would generate around 5,000 MW while remaining electricity would be added into national grid through non CPEC projects. The Chinese experts, he said, will visit Pakistan in February 2017 to make adjustments in the energy projects.

When the media pressed the minister to identify delayed projects under CPEC, he said that Rahimyar Khan and Muzzafargarh power projects were among the delayed projects. It is relevant to mention here that Rahimyar Khan coal fired power projects were intended to add 1320 MW as two projects having capacity of 660 MW each was planned but now they were delayed now. Some projects in Sindh would be delayed which would now come into national grid after 2018 or 2019, said the minister.

The JCC noted that 12 CPEC energy projects including Sahiwal Coal Fired Power Plant, Port Qasim Coal Fired Plant and others were under construction and close to financial close. The investment of these projects with total capacity of 8130 MW will reach about $16 billion and it is expected that around 5000 MW projects will become operation in 2017-18.

The JCC, the minister said, agreed that China Electric Power Equipment & Technology (CET), which is subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China will be sponsor for Matiari-Lahore and Matiari-Faisalabad HVDC Transmission Line Projects.

The minister said that both sides agreed that the existing list of CPEC energy projects shall be adjusted and new list shall be made on the basis of minutes of 4th Joint Working Group (JWG) held on December 12, 2016. The Chinese experts will visit Pakistan in Feb 2017 and adjustment proposed will be tabled before the 5th JWG.

The JCC agreed to form mechanism on the development of hydropower projects along the north Indus River including the Bhasha Hydropower project as agreed in JWG meeting held at Lahore on August 3, 2016.

The minister said that the Chief Ministers belonging to smaller provinces participated into the JCC meeting to demonstrate that all federating units were united on CPEC initiative. He said that the Long Term Plan for CPEC would be finalised till March 31, 2017.

To a query, the minister said that the government revived 300 MW coal power project at Gwadar which will be constructed within next 2 and half years period. The water desalination plant will be installed at Gwadar to get 5 million gallons of water. He said that total 9 industrial zones would be established in first phase as each zone in all federating units, Fata, AJK, GB and 2 zones would be established at Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and one in Karachi.

(Source: The News)

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