ISLAMABAD: A joint working group of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor fine-tuned on Wednesday almost 6,000MW of power generation projects for their signing during the forthcoming visit of President Xi Jinping.
According to an official statement, a meeting of the group on energy projects, jointly presided over by Water and Power secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha and Vice Administrator of China’s National Energy Administration Zhang Yuqing, expressed satisfaction over the progress made by both sides to achieve all deliverables ahead of schedule.
Informed sources said the two sides had finalised arrangements for the signing of an agreement between the State Grid China and National Transmission and Dispatch Company on two transmission lines – one from Matiari to Lahore and the other from Matiari to Faisalabad – after vetting by their legal teams.
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The group also finalised the signing of term sheet and implementation agreements for setting up 1,320MW coal-based power project near Port Qasim and tripartite implementation and power purchase agreements for another 1,320MW coal-based project in Sahiwal, Punjab. The meeting expressed satisfaction over the term sheets from Chinese banks enabling the finalisation of implementation and power purchase agreements for a 660MW coal-based plant of the Thar power project.
The two sides will also sign a term sheet for 3.8 million tons per annum coal mining by Sindh-Engro Coal Mining Company. An agreement for a 900MW solar power project at Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur by Zonery of China is also ready for signing, despite reservations by certain government agencies that such a big solar project does not fit into the overall government policy of getting affordable energy because of its high rate of 14.5 cents per unit.
The two sides have already approved contracts with banks for financing a 100MW wind power project of United Energy Pakistan (China) at Jhimpir in Thatta and 50MW each of Dawood Hydro of China at Bhamboor and of Sachal at Thatta. Their groundbreaking will coincide with Chinese president’s visit.
The meeting also finalised the signing of a financing agreement for 870MW Sukki-Kinari hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and groundbreaking of 720MW Karot hydropower project in Azad Kashmir.
According to the official statement, the water and power secretary told the working group that the Pakistani side had taken all steps to achieve major objectives within the agreed schedule and most of the projects would be ready for execution over the next few days.
The meeting expressed confidence that activities on major portions of the early harvest projects in the energy sector would materialise in near future.
The meeting was attended by the secretaries of planning and petroleum, senior Chinese officials and representatives of about 20 Chinese companies, banks and sponsors associated with the corridor projects.
Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2015