January 4, 2023
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has directed the Ministry for Maritime Affairs, Power Division, Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), and China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd (COPHCL) to ensure 100 percent electricity consumption from the 300MW coal-fired power project in order to avoid any financial loss to the national exchequer.
The minister made these remarks while chairing a meeting to review progress over the 300MW coal-fired power project on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by the chairman COPHCL, chairman GPA, and other relevant stakeholders.
The project was conceived under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2016 that would cater to the needs of some 150,000 local people by the end of 2023.
The project aimed at improving the reliability of the local power supply that would help gradually solve the problems in current economic development and urban construction in the Gwadar region, which is being restricted by the shortage of power.
Earlier, the minister had directed the COPHECL to provide exact demand of the electricity for Gwadar Free Zone and share 10-year plan for electricity consumption by Gwadar Free Zone Company in order to establish exact electricity utilisation of 300 MW Coal Fired Power Project at Gwadar.
During the meeting, the minister also directed the Power Division to review the project and address impediments in order to achieve the Commercial Operation Date (COD) in January 2025. It is noted that all major projects under CPEC in Gwadar, including Gwadar Power Plant, the New Gwadar International Airport Project, the China-Pak Friendship Hospital, China-Pak Technical and Vocational Institute in Gwadar, the Gwadar East-bay Expressway Project, Gwadar Free Zone, and Gwadar Port would become a shining pearl in the region.
The minister further said the government is already working on a project of two transmission lines from Iran that will increase the demand of electricity.
The incumbent government has revived all the CPEC projects since it came into power in April this year. The previous government has stopped all the projects. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif already assured his Chinese counterparts that the CPEC is the top priority of the government and the recent Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) was one of the examples in which both sides had agreed to revive several development projects.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023