Monday, August 1, 2011

Pakistan to seek Chinese help for 19 energy projects

Pakistan, which is grappling with an energy crisis, is going to seek assistance from China to implement 19 energy projects to meet water and power requirements in a meeting of Pak-China Joint Energy Working Group scheduled to be held on August 1-2 in Beijing.
Pakistan is currently working on Chashma-3 and 4 nuclear power plants and the two sides are also expected to make some progress on cooperation in constructing these projects in the upcoming first meeting of the working group. China is already extending cooperation in meeting Pakistan’s energy demand.
Federal Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, who is chairman of the working group from Pakistani side, will lead a delegation to these important deliberations. He will reach Beijing today (Sunday).
The 19 projects include four power generation projects of about 2,297 megawatts, one coal power project of 405 MW, one project for development of infrastructure and mining and power generation from Thar coal, four projects of small and medium dams, five projects of transmission lines and power distribution, one project of alternative energy and two projects of geological survey.
The four power projects include 840MW Sukhi Kinari plant, 100MW Kotli plant, 157MW Madian plant and 1,200MW AES imported coal-based plant.
Pakistan will seek Chinese technical assistance, financing and engineering procurement contract. All the power generation projects will be completed within three to five years.
Naveed Qamar has said through the joint working group, Chinese government, companies, investors and entrepreneurs will be invited and encouraged to participate in various initiatives undertaken for the development of power sector.
He said the government would facilitate and provide incentives to the Chinese for investment in water, power and other energy projects, adding the government was committed to addressing energy shortages and achieving energy security objectives on a sustainable basis.
He expressed hope that the working group meeting would be fruitful and the country would get assurance of more cooperation from China in the energy sector.
The working group was constituted following signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pakistan and China to promote energy cooperation. Under the MoU, which was proposed by the National Energy Administration of China, the working group was assigned the task to cooperate in different areas including oil and gas, coal, conventional power, nuclear and renewable energy.
During the visit of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao to Pakistan in December 2010, it was decided that China would provide financing and cooperate in development of conventional, renewable and civil nuclear energy projects, to be identified by Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2011.


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