The Game Changer

Enterprise - - Contents -

The he Con­struc­tion of the Chi­naPak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) is now gain­ing mo­men­tum in Pak­istan af­ter Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping vis­ited the coun­try in April, com­pa­nies in­volved in the mas­sive pro­ject said.

The CPEC, a 3,000-km net­work of roads, rail­ways and pipe­lines link­ing Kash­gar in north­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion and south­west­Pak­istan’s Gwadar Port, is also a ma­jor pro­ject of China-pro­posed “Belt and Road” ini­tia­tive.

The Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road, pro­posed by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in 2013, are aimed at re­viv­ing the an­cient trade routes that span Asia, Africa and Europe.

Dur­ing Xi’s visit, China and Pak­istan agreed to form a “1+4″ co­op­er­a­tion struc­ture with the CPEC at the cen­ter and the Gwadar Port, trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, energy and in­dus­trial co­op­er­a­tion be­ing the four key ar­eas to achieve a win-win re­sult and com­mon de­vel­op­ment.

On April 20, ground-break­ing of five power projects was jointly done by the Chi­nese pres­i­dent and Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif via video link. Among the projects, Zon­ergy 900 MW so­lar power plant is likely go­ing to be the first one to be put into Pak­istan’s na­tional grid.

The 1.5 bil­lion-U.S.-dol­lar pro­ject, the largest so­lar power plant in the world lo­cated in Ba­hawalpur is be­ing de­vel­oped in three phases and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to Zon­ergy Com­pany Lim­ited, the first 50 MW of the pro­ject is near com­ple­tion and is go­ing to be en­er­gized soon. Be­fore the end of this year, 300 MW will be added to Pak­istan’s na­tional grid.

In ad­di­tion to the Zon­ergy pro­ject, a num­ber of new energy projects, be­ing con­structed by Chi­nese com­pa­nies, are also pro­ceed­ing steadily.

The 1.65bil­lion-dol­lar Karot hy­dropower plant, the first in­vest­ment pro­ject of the Silk Road Fund, is be­ing de­vel­oped by the China Three Gorges Cor­po­ra­tion. Con­struc­tion of the 720 MW pro­ject will be­gin at the end of this year and the plant is ex­pected to be put into op­er­a­tion in 2020.

The Port Qasim coal-fired power plant, the first started pro­ject in the energy sec­tor un­der the CPEC frame­work, is be­ing con­structed by Pow­erchina Re­sources Lim­ited. The 2.085-bil­lion- dol­lar pro­ject would start op­er­a­tion by the end of 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to Punjab Chief Min­is­ter Shah­baz Sharif, the CPEC projects are very im­por­tant for power sup­plies in the coun­try. He said ear­lier this month when meet­ing a Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion that Pak­istan would be able to over­come energy cri­sis with the co­op­er­a­tion of its broth­erly neigh­bor.

Tan­gi­ble progress has also been made in trans­port in­fra­struc­ture. China Road and Bridge Cor­po­ra­tion told Chi­nese media that re­align­ment pro­ject of the Karako­rum High­way (KKH) at Attabad Bar­rier Lake is go­ing to be com­pleted by the end of this month. Prime Min­is­ter Sharif is ex­pected to in­au­gu­rate the pro­ject. The KKH, the only land route be­tween China and Pak­istan, will re-open to traf­fic af­ter be­ing cut off by a bar­rier lake for over five years.

The Eco­nomic Co­or­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee of Pak­istan’s cab­i­net said on Aug. 12 that con­tracts for con­struct­ing two other road projects of the CPEC worth 3.5 bil­lion U.S. dol­lars will be awarded to Chi­nese com­pa­nies through bid­ding. The two projects, 2.6-bil­lion- dol­lar Karachi-La­hore Mo­tor­way and 920-mil­lion-dol­lar Karako­ram High­way up­grade PhaseII, are ear­marked for early com­ple­tion un­der the CPEC frame­work.

Last month Pak­istan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ra­heel Sharif in­spected the un­der-con­struc­tion road net­work as part of the CPEC. Ac­cord­ing to the army, 502 km out of the 870-km road net­work link­ing the Gwadar Port with the rest of the coun­try have been com­pleted by

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.