Chinese investment in power sector likely

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ISLAMABAD - In a major development to uplift Pakistan’s power sector, huge influx of Chinese investment is likely in power sector to control the country’s raging energy crisis following the return of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from China, The Nation learnt reliably on Friday.

Nawaz Sharif during his recent visit to China had invited Chinese companies to invest in the energy sector in Pakistan. Head of various companies including Gezhouba‚ China Engineering Corporation and Huawei Technologies held meetings with the prime minister. The premier had asked the China Engineering Corporation to help Pakistan convert furnace oil power projects on coal. He also invited the Chinese company to set up 1‚000 megawatts power plant at Jamshoro in Sindh Province. Nawaz Sharif also assured the top men of Chinese companies that government will provide all necessary facilities to them.  The govt to surmount the perennial energy woes is upset by rising power shortfall and is leaving no stone unturned to rid the country of the energy crisis. The premier during his recent tour to a trusted friend China said that resolution of energy issues was the top priority of his government which would welcome foreign investment in this sector.

During the recent tour of the premier, the Chinese companies in response had also expressed their willingness to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan during meetings with Nawaz Sharif as chairman Orient Group of Investment offered laying of the Pak-Iran gas pipeline up to China while Gezhouba company is already working on Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project‚ to be completed in 2016. Viewing the keen interest of Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector coupled with arrival of Chinese delegations to Pakistan following the visit of Nawaz Sharif it is easy to say that China has stepped in to rescue Pakistan from raging energy crisis. Yesterday, a six-member delegation headed by Wang Shaofeng, Vice President, CWE Investment Corporation called on Chairman BOI, Mohammad Zubair in his office.

During this meeting, the delegation told Chairman BOI taht Chinese CWE Investment Corporation will invest $ 6 billion in the energy sector of Pakistan during the next 5 years to help the country overcome its energy problems and ensure availability of sufficient power supply in future. The company is already running nine projects in the country.

Vice President, CWE Investment Corporation, Wang Shaofeng, who is leading a six-member Chinese delegation in Pakistan, briefed the BoI Chairman about ongoing energy projects, saying that the construction of 50 mw three gorges first wind farm (50MW) has been started in January, 2013 while its financial closing is almost completed.

All civil works and 50% wind-turbine installation is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year while the project will be enter into commercial operation (cod) in June 2014.

According to a BoI statement, Shaofeng said, 720mw Karot hydropower project is at first stages (feasibility stage) and tariff has been approved by NEPRA.

Feasibility updating and optimization works continue which will be completed by June next year and the project construction is scheduled to started by the end of 2014 and would be completed in 5 years.

He told the BoI Chairman that 1100mw Kohala hydropower project is at first stage and tariff negotiation have started since September 2011 with NTDC and the parties have held 3 rounds of negotiation.

Land acquisition and preparation for construction will completed in 2015 and construction will kick off in 2016.

Similarly, construction on 120mw Taunsa Hydropower project (120mw) approved by Punjab power development board (PPOB) on June 25th, 2013 will be started in 2015 with 4 years construction period.

The other projects that the company is running include two three-gorges wind farm (450mw) projects, wind measurement project in Punjab, 50mw solar power project in Punjab and 50mw solar power project in Sindh.

Courtesy:  Nation

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