Deal worth $2.4b signed for Kohala power project

It will provide 5b units of low cost electricity to consumers in Pakistan, AJK

​ Our Correspondent June 01, 2020
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: A tripartite agreement has been finalised between China Three Gorges Corporation, the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) for implementing the 1,124-megawatt Kohala hydroelectric power project in AJK under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.

The project is aimed at annually providing more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity for consumers in Pakistan and AJK. This marks one of the largest investments of $2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in Pakistan and AJK.

Furthermore, another hydroelectric power project - the 102MW Gulpur project - located at Poonch River, Kotli district of AJK met the commercial operation date on March 10, 2020.

Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, while chairing the 127th meeting of PPIB, lauded the infrastructure board for playing a crucial role in optimising hydroelectric power generation.

The minister said the government was determined to ensure long-term energy sustainability and reliability for which renewable energy, hydroelectric power and indigenous coal-based projects were being prioritised.

PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza briefed PPIB on the status of upcoming IPPs, explaining that various projects may experience delay in achieving critical milestones primarily due to Covid-19 and project sponsors were requesting support from PPIB in combating the situation. The board, while considering the intensity of the matter, allowed extension in the validity of Letter of Support/ financial close date for the 1,124MW Kohala hydroelectric power project.

It also agreed to provide support for Thar coal-based power generation projects in getting required extension in the backdrop of the global pandemic.

Agreeing on a proposal, the board with the consensus of all provinces and AJK allowed extension in the validity of Letters of Interest in respect of 640MW Mahl, 450MW Athmuqam and 82.25MW Turtonas-Uzghor hydroelectric power projects for accommodating these IPPs under the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan.

Moreover, the board was apprised that PPIB had started processing small hydroelectric power projects for the first time, therefore, standard security package agreements including the implementation agreement (IA) were required to be in place.

PPIB had prepared a standard draft of IA, which needed approval, the board was told. A committee of the board has been constituted to review the draft of the standard IA for small hydroelectric power projects for its onward submission to the ECC for consideration and approval. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2020.

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