Updated Aug 26, 2018 10:45am

Kohala project land acquisition may complete by December

Khalid Hasnain

LAHORE: Land acquisition for the 1,124MW Kohala hydropower project is likely to complete in December as the authorities have accomplished 70 per cent work in this regard, according to an official of the ministry of energy.

Located in the north-east region of the country, the project is planned to be built on a branch of the River Jhelum that flows into Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Being a priority project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it is the first-ever largest scheme of the independent power producers in the hydropower sector of the country.

Considered a priority CPEC project, it is the largest scheme of independent power producers in the country’s hydropower sector

“We hope that the acquisition of the entire required land for this mega project will be completed in December. So far 70 to 80pc of the total land has been acquired, paving the way for the launch of civil work on the project by March next year,” an official source in the Private Power and Infrastructure Board — a statutory organisation of the Government of Pakistan mandated to promote private investments in power sector — told Dawn on Saturday.

According to Kohala Hydropower Company, a private entity led by the China Three Gorges (CTG) organisation, the annual energy generation (on an average) of the project’s main power station would be 5.079 billion kWh, with 122MW guaranteed output and 4,617 hours of capacity utilisation. Similarly, the average annual energy generation of the ecological flow power station has been estimated to be 95 million kWh with 8.4MW guaranteed output and 5,280 hours of yearly utilisation hours of installed capacity. The total annual generating capacity of the main power station and ecological flow power station would be 5.174bn kWh.

“The project will take seven years to complete by the company under the CTG’s command. This will be completed under BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) mode that means the company would be responsible for carrying out entire operation and maintenance of the project for 30 years after completion (till 2055). And after that the company would be liable to transfer the administrative and functional control of the project to the Government of Pakistan,” the official explained.

He said since the project was part of the CPEC its entire funding would be provided by China. The Pakistani government is just playing the role of a facilitator in its execution. He said though some part — 15 per cent or so — of the total funding ($2.3bn) had been committed by an international funding institution, it was still hanging in the balance. “But our government is not worried about this partial funding since it believes that it wouldn’t matter to China. So whether the international donor makes partial funding or not, China would do it,” he added.

The official said civil work on 870MW Suki Kinari and 720MW Karot hydropower projects of the CPEC had already begun.

“Over 35pc of the total civil work / construction of the Karot project and 10pc civil work on the Suki Kinari has also been completed,” he claimed.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2018

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