Govt urged to facilitate KE deal with Shanghai Electric

Published March 18, 2021
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaiah Group on Wednesday sought early resolution of payables and receivables of K-Electric. — KE website/File
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaiah Group on Wednesday sought early resolution of payables and receivables of K-Electric. — KE website/File

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaiah Group on Wednesday sought early resolution of payables and receivables of K-Electric (KE) and urged the government and public sector entities to facilitate the power utility’s takeover by China’s Shanghai Electric Ltd.

A press statement issued by KE said that Aljomaih Holdings’ Managing Director Investments Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih hoped that the government of Pakistan would expedite the removal of any impediments to the conclusion of Shanghai Electric Power’s (SEP) proposal to take a 66.4 per cent controlling stake in K-Electric Limited.

The statement, issued on the conclusion of a two-day visit of the Saudi company’s official, said that Aljomaih was one of the largest investors in KE through the consortium that bought out the KESC in 2005. During his visit, the Saudi investor met the country’s senior leadership and officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi.

The KE statement said that Mr Aljomaih was in Pakistan to seek resolution of challenges facing KE including the long-standing issue of payables and receivables involving the power utility and several government entities.

The KE statement said the government had assured the Saudi investor that it will extend support in expediting the process of approvals so that held up Tariff Differential Claims of about Rs275 billion on a principle basis are released at the earliest.

The statement said these issues had put a strain on the sustainability of the company that has already done so much for the improvement of Karachi’s energy security, which has been greatly beneficial for the industrial growth of not just the city but also the country.

Since its privatisation, the Aljomaih Group has invested more than $720 million as equity into the KE, which is still the single largest Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan, the statement said. “This investment has allowed the Company to invest more than $3.3bn in Karachi’s power infrastructure”.

During meetings with Pakistani authorities, Mr Aljomaih emphasised that a strategic investor with utility expertise would leverage its strengths to bring further advancements, benefiting the consumers and economy at large.

“The transaction that has been lingering since 2016, when completed will open the doors to investment of billions of dollars into Karachi’s energy infrastructure,” the statement added.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2021

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