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Pak, China ink $1.5b hydro power project
  ·  2020-07-07  ·   Source: Daily Mail, Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would take Pakistan on the path of rapid progress and development as its economic future was related to the completion of various energy and infrastructure projects, on July 6.

He was speaking after witnessing the signing of agreement with China Gezhouba for Azad Pattan hydropower project at a ceremony here.

A part of CPEC, with an investment of $ 1.5 billion, 700.7 MW Azad Pattan will involve no fuel import, thus enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities.

The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026.

The prime minister further said time would prove the long term benefits of CPEC which was based upon economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.

He said Pakistan could learn a lot from China in realms of economic progress and prosperity as the country was fast emerging as world economic power.

He expressed the optimism that in the future, they would learn from the Chinese experiences. The CPEC had different phases with various bright aspects for prosperity and progress, he added.

Referring to the signing of agreement, the prime minister said it was part of the investment to complete a power project based upon the clean energy.

He said the hydro power generation was considered as big source of clean energy which was also in line with his government’s policy of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ and regarded as environment friendly.

It would also help stem the impacts of the global warming, he added.

The prime minister also appreciated the energy ministry, CPEC authority, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab governments for the agreement over the project.

CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, on the occasion, said the project would be completed by utilizing the indigenous resources.

He said work on CPEC projects continued with full force despite COVID-19 pandemic, generating job opportunities.

He further briefed that during the last ten days, they had signed agreements for bringing worth $4 billion investment and for generation of 1,800 MW low cost power in the country.

These projects would provide jobs to about 8,000 locals.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Chinese company authorities, ministers and senior officials were present during the ceremony.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Lt. Gen (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa on July 6 said despite prevailing situation of COVID-19 in the country, the mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was moving forward with full force and more projects under CPEC would be signed in near future.

Addressing the signing ceremony of Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project, Asim Saleem Bajwa who also heads CPEC Authority said the project would not only produce 701 MW clean and low-cost electricity but it would also attract $1.5 billion foreign investment besides providing over 3000 jobs in the country.

“In only 10 days we have signed agreements that will bring $4 billion investment and will produce 1800 MW clean and cheap electricity in the country.

These projects will also help producing over 8000 jobs,” he added.

He said according to vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country was moving forward to produce clean and cheaper electricity instead of utilizing the expensive imported fuel.

He said under the vision of the prime minister, the new projects were bringing billions of dollars of foreign investment instead of putting burden of loans on the government.

Pakistan and China on July 6 inked an agreement for the construction of $1.5 billion Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will prove to be a milestone in the country’s development and prosperity.

“The CPEC is the future of Pakistan.”

The premier further said time would prove the long term benefits of the CPEC project, which was based upon economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.

He said Pakistan could learn a lot from China in realms of economic progress and prosperity as the country was fast emerging as world economic power.

He expressed the optimism that in the future, they would learn from the Chinese experiences. The CPEC had different phases with various bright aspects for prosperity and progress, he added.

Referring to the signing of the agreement, PM Imran said it was part of the investment to complete a power project based upon the clean energy.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen (retd) Bajwa said 3000 jobs would be created through the mega project and it would provide an annual income of Rs1.38 billion to Punjab and Azad Kashmir from water use.

He added, “With an investment of $1.5 billion, no fuel import, we are moving towards cheaper and greener power.”

What is Azad Pattan hydropower project?

Last year in November, Pakistan and China agreed to include 700 megawatts Azad Pattan hydropower project under the CPEC. which is to be financed through Chinese currency.

Azad Pattan hydropower project is a run-of-the-river scheme on the River Jhelum, in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, with a capability of four hours of daily peaking.

The project would be located near the Azad Pattan bridge upstream of 720 MW Karot hydropower project and downstream of 640 MW Mahal hydropower project and would be part of the River Jhelum hydel cascade.

The project would deliver approximately 3.3 billion units of clean, renewable energy in the grid after its completion in 2026.

Being developed under the 2002 power policy, the project would be transferred free of cost to the government after the term.

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