Chinese firm shows interest in ‘resolving’ Karachi’s water woes

Updated October 26, 2019

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During meeting with CM, Chinese company discusses K-IV project, which has been halted temporarily. — Dawn/File
During meeting with CM, Chinese company discusses K-IV project, which has been halted temporarily. — Dawn/File

KARACHI: A Chinese firm has shown interest in resolving water shortage problems in Karachi, including K-IV phase II and phase III while Dutch investors are keen to work in food processing industry in Sindh.

This was the outcome of two separate meetings held between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and a Chinese state-owned company, Energy China, delegation led by its president Luo Bixiong. In the other meeting, which took place with Netherlands Ambassador Willem Wouter Plomp, they discussed investment opportunities in agriculture, animal husbandry and production of hybrid seeds.

Speaking to the eight-member Energy China delegation, which called on him here at CM House on Friday, the chief minister said “if Karachi moves [in terms of economy] the whole country moves”.

The meeting participants discussed K-IV project which has been halted temporarily to make necessary changes in its design.

“National engineering firm NESPAK is working on its design and as soon as it is finalised work would be started,” Mr Shah said and added that K-IV was the most important project and would ensure its completion.

Mr Shah said that Karachi was a big city and its water requirement has been estimated at 1,200 million gallons per day but it was receiving only 500 MGD.

During the meeting, they discussed different options for working together.

The Hub River source conveyance system has flaws and faults, therefore line losses have been recorded much higher than acceptable. The Chinese company showed interest in improving the system from Hub source to Karachi.

The Chinese company on the chief minister’s request said that they would work out details, including the estimated cost to install a 100 MGD desalination plant in Karachi.

It was pointed out that in the past the desalination technology was uneconomical, but now the latest technology had not only turned out to be economical, but also more efficient.

The third proposal which came under discussion was treatment of Malir River waste water to reuse it for industrial purposes.

The Chinese company said they would work out a plant for treatment of waste water for the Sindh government.

The Chinese firm was told that the provincial government was working with Frontier Works Organization on K-IV phase-I. The Chinese firms showed interest to work in phase-II and III and proposed that if the cost of project was too high it could be included in CPEC projects.

Mr Shah directed the planning and development department to have another meeting with the Chinese firm to finalise recommendations for working together in water sector.

Food processing industry

During the meeting with ambassador of the Netherlands Willem Wouter Plomp, Murad Ali Shah discussed with him investment opportunities in food processing industry in Karachi.

The ambassador said that their food processing industrial expertise was world known and their investors were keen to work in Sindh.

They also discussed investment opportunities in agriculture, animal husbandry and production of hybrid seeds.

The chief minister and the visiting diplomat agreed to set up a meeting of his country’s investors with the investment department of Sindh to move ahead.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2019