Ecnec approves four projects of 3,500MW capacity

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ISLAMABAD : The government approved on Thursday five projects of about Rs1.3 trillion. Four of the projects are in power sector having a combined generation capacity of 3,511 megawatts.

The approval was given at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The government plans two nuclear power projects of 2,117MW in the coastal region near Karachi. These will be known as K-I and K-II and will cost Rs958.7 billion.

The meeting decided to do away with the discretionary power of the finance minister to grant anticipatory approvals for clearing development projects. The minister said every project should be discussed by Ecnec which would now hold frequent meetings.

He said completion of the 3,511MW projects would produce power at low cost and make a substantial addition to the national grid.

Mr Dar said the prime minister had decided that the focus of new energy projects would be on their completion in shortest possible time and production at low cost.

The committee decided to revise the estimated cost of Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project to Rs274bn from Rs84bn and to investigate the huge cost overrun and delay.

The ministry of water and power was asked to complete the transmission lines for the 969MW to be generated by the project.

The cost of the combined cycle Nandipur Power Plant of 425-525MW capacity, comprising three gas turbines, was revised upwards to Rs57.38bn from Rs22.33bn.

Ecnec also approved the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS) Project located in Sindh and Punjab with a cost of Rs19.69bn. Part of the National Satellite Development Programme, the project will carry optical payload that will produce high-resolution earth images with stereo capabilities in accordance with international standards.

Ecnec approved the addition of three lanes to the Kashmir Highway from Peshawar Mor to GT Road in Islamabad (with a bridge for additional carriageway).

The project also envisages rehabilitation and improvement of the existing two lanes, addition of one more flexible pavement as 3rd lane and two rigid pavements as 4th and 5th lanes (each 3.65m wide) on the northern and southern carriageway of the 11km highway. The cost of the project has been revised to Rs4.69bn from the initial estimate of Rs2.19bn.

The finance minister said finances for the projects should be arranged in time and work on them should be monitored regularly to ensure their completion on schedule.

Courtesy: Dawn

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