The Public Accounts Committee was briefed on Thursday by the Ministry of Water and Power regarding power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The PAC was told that the coal being imported through Port Qasim will would help run an electricity project worth 1,320 megawatts, which will be ready by the end of December 2017.

The PAC meeting, held under Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah's chairmanship, was also informed that 19 energy projects, which will generate a total of 12,114 MW power, are in the pipeline under CPEC.

“Of these projects, 3,960MW will be generated through coal, 2,714 through hydroelectric projects, and 4,260MW from the imported coal. Out of the coal-powered projects, a 1,320MW project being set up at Post Qasim will be run on imported coal and will be completed by December this year,” said Secretary of Water and Power Younas Dagha.

The secretary informed that Qatari and Chinese companies were carrying out work at Port Qasim, with no Pakistani firm operating there.

In the briefing, the secretary added that the government hoped for a significant investment in Gwadar, and a Chinese firm is ready to work on a 300 MW electricity generation project there.

Dagha also said meeting that Gwadar was not connected to the national grid, instead, it was connected to a transmission line coming from Iran, but the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had issued directives to connect Gwadar to the national grid, which will take about one and a half year.

“At the moment, we are importing 105MW electricity from Iran. We have dug 70 metres in Thar already while we need to reach 130 meter deep before coal can be extracted,” he said.

Shah asked the officials to provide details of the terms and conditions of the $35 billion loan taken from China.

“We should be told what are the terms on which we have been granted this generous loan, how much interest do we pay on it, and what is the interest rate China charges from other countries,” he said.

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