Investment inflow: Chinese firm to pour $6b into energy projects

Published: July 20, 2013
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Chinese firms have started interacting with Pakistani authorities following Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing earlier this month.  CREATIVE COMMONS

Chinese firms have started interacting with Pakistani authorities following Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing earlier this month. CREATIVE COMMONS

ISLAMABAD: 

China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE), a state-owned entity, would invest $6 billion in energy projects in Pakistan over the next five years, said the company’s Vice President Wang Shaofeng.

If the company invests what it promised in a meeting with Board of Investment Chairman Muhammad Zubair, it will become the single largest investment which is four times bigger than the total foreign investment the country received in the last fiscal year.

CWE is owned by the Chinese government and is engaged in contracting overseas engineering projects. The BOI did not provide details of the investment except that out of $6 billion as much as $2 billion would be invested in energy projects in Karachi.

The BOI chairman stressed that in the next five years investment-to-gross domestic product ratio would be increased to 20% from the current low of 13%, calling the task one of the top two priorities of the new PML-N government.

Zubair said the initiatives that the government would take to restore the confidence of international investors would start giving results after two years.

Chinese firms have started interacting with Pakistani authorities following Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing earlier this month. During the trip, Nawaz held several meetings to woo investors into Pakistan.

The premier has declared the Planning Commission as the focal organisation that will deal with all China-related initiatives.

A China Corridor has been set up in the Planning Commission – a special cell that will deal with Chinese projects, particularly Gwadar-Kashgar trade corridor. The prime minister has termed this corridor “the future of the world”.

CWE’s Shaofeng said his company was already working on nine projects in Pakistan.

The company is developing a 50-megawatt Three Gorges wind farm. The project’s financial close is said to be almost complete.

All civil works and 50% installation of wind turbines are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The project will start commercial operation by June next year.

The company is conducting feasibility study for 720MW Karot hydropower project and its tariff has already been approved by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority. The construction of the project will take five years.

CWE is also engaged in 1,100MW Kohala hydropower project, which is in initial stages. Tariff negotiations with regulatory authorities have been going on since September 2011, but no tangible results have come out. The company is eager to acquire land and start construction work in 2015.

Another project in which the company is involved is 120MW Taunsa hydropower project, approved by the Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) on June 25 this year. Construction will start in 2015 and will be completed in four years.

The PPDB has also approved feasibility study for a 50MW solar power project in Punjab. Another 50MW solar power project will be set up in Sindh.

CWE is also planning Three Gorges wind farms of 100MW and 350MW. It is involved in a wind measurement project in Punjab and is installing a wind mast in Chakwal and Rajanpur.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Asif Butt
    Jul 20, 2013 - 12:21AM

    I dont care what all the fanatical followers of PTI , PPP or PML say to each other.

    All I see is that finally we hear of some progress big or small almost every week.

    Now thats what we call a government working for the people.

    And in the case of this news , the progress is BIG !

    masha ALLAH

    Recommend

  • FYI
    Jul 20, 2013 - 1:25AM

    If the company invests what it “promised
    How come Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing to make it more acceptable to believe ?
    Promises are made to be broken !!

    Recommend

  • Deepwater
    Jul 20, 2013 - 2:45AM

    From reading the headline, one would think that the investment has already been made and not just what has been promised. When a country is so in love with another, even promises sound like deeds.

    Recommend

  • Maria
    Jul 20, 2013 - 3:05AM

    I hope that the positive economic announcements coming since the arrival of Nawaz Sharif are realized as soon as possible. The positive outlook will only remain this way if people see the changes sooner rather than later. The last 5 years was dismal and the previous 9 years even worse so Nawaz Sharif doesn’t have to do much to do better than his predecessors!

    Recommend

  • PakPower
    Jul 20, 2013 - 4:13AM

    Most of these projects, though a good development, will come online in the late 2010s or early 2020s. We need to do something that will deal with this crippling power crisis on a short-term basis.

    Recommend

  • Optimist
    Jul 20, 2013 - 8:00AM

    We want long term development.
    .
    As far short term, this time shall pass (like Musharraf and Zardari’s tenures)

    Recommend

  • ashar
    Jul 20, 2013 - 8:01AM

    I think they need legislation to use this kind of investment options. At present no body can by pass PPRA and according to them a transparent competition is essential for the award of contracts and in this case it is not possible that the company only provide money and sit back and see who takes the contract as per Pakistan policy so there ought to be legislation to award them work directly bypassing public procurement rules. And there is no harm in doing so since our problem might be solved with this.

    Recommend

  • Azeem
    Jul 20, 2013 - 2:46PM

    Is anyone considering Kalabagh once again? Please do so!

    Recommend

  • Jul 20, 2013 - 2:55PM

    only news and nothing else,china will invest $18 billion in pakistan,china will invest $6 billion in pakistan in pakistan,pakistan’s annual trade volume with China will rise from $12 billion to $20 billion by 2015,China now takes over gwader a nightmare for Indians etc etc.Hey dreamers 1st look at China’s massive debt which is a fact and China is in big trouble which will grow more in coming years ahead.They themselves need money right now to regulate their massive debt and IMF and other financial institutions and rating agencies says its massive investment in both within and outside the country is one of the reason for which China today it is in trouble with massive debt at 200% of its GDP and you think China will invest billion in pakistan.All is in paper is nothing more.It seems people in pakistan govt don’t read financial news about what going on in this globalized market and becomes happy even on a mere interest shown by some Chinese firm let alone mou.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 20, 2013 - 3:30PM

    Who is putting out these stories ? Why ?
    As there is nothing on the Chinese sites nor does one see any MOU !
    This is just another feel good factor based solely on beliefs and without any serious ground work or MOUs !Recommend

  • Truth
    Jul 20, 2013 - 4:01PM

    I think chinese want to waste there hard earned money !Recommend

  • Javed
    Jul 20, 2013 - 6:50PM

    @Truth:
    And your thoughts are wrong as China is not investing in India!

    Recommend

  • Unbelievable
    Jul 20, 2013 - 8:51PM

    Sounds great – but like most of these stories it’s short on detail. Prior energy investments by China always hit a snag – it’s an investment not a gift and the returns they expect require energy rates to be significantly higher than Pakistani’s are used to paying – when the govt balks at the rates the projects go into limbo.

    Recommend

  • Jul 20, 2013 - 11:22PM

    @@Truth India wants trade but doesn’t want Chinese investment,unlike pakistan our govt has very restrictive policy of not allowing Chinese company to have a foothold in India except allowing them to only have a minority or limited presence.Yo better take Chinese investment which in fact are only on paper.

    Recommend

  • Kazim Muneer
    Jul 20, 2013 - 11:24PM

    @Asif Butt: Butt Sahab, this is what I call non-transparent governance, which is working on public money to secure personal interests.

    Recommend

  • meekal a ahmed
    Jul 21, 2013 - 1:17AM

    We should remember this is slow-moving project aid with an average gestation period of five years. And the pipeline of projects is already ten years deep! These projects will only clog it further.

    That is not to say Pakistan does not need new investment.

    Recommend

  • darbullah
    Jul 21, 2013 - 7:04AM

    @Javed:
    Just read a news that China is to invest $160 billion in a single state in India and this news is published in the chinese media, unlike this.
    http://www.hongkongherald.com/index.php/sid/215959878/scat/9366300fc9319e9b

    Recommend

  • Optimist
    Jul 21, 2013 - 7:57AM

    If this is only news and hype, why our Indian friends wasting their time to comment on this?

    Recommend

  • darbullah
    Jul 21, 2013 - 12:08PM

    @Optimist:
    Both are only news. But i think even in news, the Indians seem to be winning pakistanis over investment by pakistan’s best friend.

    Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Jul 21, 2013 - 1:15PM

    @Arindom:
    @darbullah:

    China is investing $160 billion in Andhra Pradesh!!

    You should have read the comments posted by the Indians on the news story page first, instead of boasting here. They themselves don’t believe in this news released by Press Trust of India. Here are a few samples.

    “most pathetic announcement ever made ….. where the india struggles to receive this much investment , how can andhra gain it ? even the state’s entire tax revenue would be a fraction of that … Even if we consider that this investment would be spread over some years , but still it seems a very unlikely number”

    “Does any one know what $160 billion mean? The report sounds like a cruel joke.”

    “WTF,Are sure that figure is in dollars??”

    Recommend

  • ducti
    Jul 21, 2013 - 6:04PM

    @Bewildered:
    Pakistani comments making fun of this deal is more in numbers than Indians. But indian friendship with china is not as deep as the ocean.

    Recommend

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