Russia to assist with modernising PSM

Chinese delegates assure of bringing KCR to table at CPEC-related meetings


Our Correspondent April 07, 2021
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah: SCREEN GRAB

KARACHI:

A Russain delegation acceded to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah's request on Tuesday to collaborate with his government on modernising the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

The delegation, in a meeting with the CM, agreed to submit a proposal for the project, for which a study visit would be conducted soon. Besides, the delegation showed interest in working with the Sindh government on hydrotreating plants, waste processing and waste-to-energy projects under the public-private partnership model.

PSM

The CM told the delegation that the PSM, besides needing an overhaul, also needed to be modernised to meet the present-day steel production requirements. At that, the delegation decided to send a team to the mill to assess the requirements for its modernisation.

Russain partners will study the feasibility and the mode of implementation of the project and share the details with the Sindh government.

Waste-to-energy Moreover, both parties decided to study the feasibility of establishing a 50-megawatt waste-to-energy plant at Dhabeji. The CM proposed the railway line connecting Karachi to Dhabeji and Jam Chakro as two potential sites for the project. At that, Russian experts decided to visit both the sites and finalise one for the project.

Projects under CPEC

Separately, the representatives of the Chinese government assured the CM of bringing to the table the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Keti Bandar Deep-Sea Port and other projects in Sindh in meetings called to discuss schemes under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The assurance came during a meeting between the CM and a Chinese delegation, led by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong. The CM told the delegation that the project had been on the agenda of all Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meetings since its inclusion in the CPEC and while it was a feasible and viable project, there were some major obstacles in the way of its completion and those needed to be removed.

The obstacles include the sharing of the framework agreement between the Ministry of Planning and Development and Special Initiatives and National Development and Reform Commission, sovereign guarantee by the Finance Division, the federal government's request for concessional funds to the Chinese government and the clearance of the right of way of the KCR at the KCR-ML-1 common corridor, the CM elaborated.

The CM maintained that he had been requesting the federal government to resolve the issues, but they remained unaddressed.

"In the ninth JCC meeting, it was agreed that Pakistan will submit a request for finances [for the KCR] to China, but it has not been submitted yet," he added.

The delegation assured the CM that the KCR would be taken up in CPEC-related meetings.

The CM further informed the delegation that Keti Bandar Deep-Sea Port was an important part of the Sindh government's strategy for developing the energy sector.

"The project is now ready to be taken up in the [CPEC's] main framework," the CM said. The Chinese government representatives assured the CM that all CPEC-related projects would be completed on a fast-track basis, same as the 660 megawatt Thar coal power plant, under the CPEC.

Separately, Consul General of Kuwait in Karachi Salem Yousif Al Hamdant promised assistance to the CM for establishing an infectious diseases facility in Hyderabad, similar to the one set at NIPA, Karachi.