KARACHI: Chinese firms have agreed to make investments worth over $2 billion in Sindh in different fields, including installing 390 million gallons per day (MGD) water treatment plants to meet water requirements of Karachi for the next 50 years. Other investments would be made in the field of wind power, garbage power generation, biomass power generation, hydropower, upgrading of old power plants, power grid construction and the smart city project.

This was announced here in a statement issued on Friday.

The development is stated to be the outcome of meetings held between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and chiefs of different Chinese firms.

A Chinese firm hired for garbage disposal in Karachi assured the chief minister that they would start work in two districts of the metropolis in the last week of January.

The chief minister got the assurance in a meeting with Changyi Kangjie Sanitation Group (CKSG) chairman Fan Manguao.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Industries Minister Manzoor Wassan, Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah and other officials.

The chief minister told the CKSG chairman: “I want to go back to Karachi with a solid assurance from your side and this would give consolation to the people of Karachi who are tired of garbage lifting related issues.”

The CKSG chairman said that he had sent a shipment of mechanical sweeping machinery for sweeping and washing of streets and collecting dustbins from homes and thereafter taking them to garbage transfer stations (GTS).

“The machinery would reach Karachi on Jan 6,” he said and added the work would start by the end of January.

Mr Manguao said they had been assigned the cleaning and sweeping work in two districts, South and East.

“We would distribute dustbins [to homes] and then our lifting vehicles would collect them from the areas,” he said.

He assured the chief minister that not only would they get the cleaning work going, but they would also clear the backlog.

He said they would use plastic covers and compress the garbage before offloading it at the dumps.

On the offer of the chief minister for installation of a plant to generate electricity from the garbage, the chairman, accepting the offer, said the company was also given the task of lifting garbage from GTS to landfill site.

The chief minister also signed memorandums of understanding with Citic Envirotech Ltd (CEL), China Railway Construction Corporation and others firms.

The MoU signed with CEL is about using the firm’s advanced technology, design engineering and strong financing capabilities in installing two 260 MGD and 130 MGD water treatment plants and delivering facilities in Karachi, respectively.

The purpose is to meet water requirements of Karachi for the next 50 years.

The MoU also says that CEL would invest, construct and operate two water supply treatment plants at Thar Coalfield, Block-2.

The other MoU was signed between China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and the Sindh government.

It is for using the advanced technology, engineering expertise, project management experience and financial strength to cooperate with Sindh Board of Investment in the field of photovoltaic, wind power, garbage power generation, biomass power generation, hydropower, upgrading of old power plants and power grid construction.

There would be an investment of around $2bn in the sectors identified in the MoU.

The third MoU was signed with the China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Ltd. The CRCC would provide its expertise and technical support to revive Karachi Circular Railway.

The fourth MoU was with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Under the MoU the parties agreed to set up indigenous coal-based power plants with total gross capacity of 10,000MW (in phases) at Keti Bandar.

Sindh Board of Investment chairperson Naheed Memon signed all MoUs on behalf of the Sindh government.

The chief minister also held a meeting with Shunxing Agriculture Group (Food and Agriculture) chairman Ze Wang whose company was interested in investing in cattle farming for supply of meat, fruit and vegetable processing plants and fruit and vegetable farming.

The chairman said that he would visit Karachi shortly to assess the requirements, capacity and location of plants before signing the MoU.

A Chinese ministry of industry and information technology delegation also held a meeting with the chief minister.

The China Construction Company (CCC) chairman Cui Yuping also held a meeting with the chief minister and discussed investment opportunities in road and bridge sectors.

Sindh Minister for Industries Manzoor Wassan held meetings with officials of motor company Foton and energy company Sinoma.

The Chinese companies accepted the offer of the minister to dispatch their teams to Karachi to explore investment opportunities.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2016