Gwadar-Khunjrab Rail Link: Chinese conglomerate offers to build crucial rail link

Potential investment based on 4-year, soft loan.

Ppi November 26, 2013
“The main aim of the link is to connect the Central Asian Republics with the Pakistan Railways Network,” says Song Shuan Ping. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: A conglomerate of two leading Chinese construction companies, China Railway Engineering Corporation and Sinotec, has offered to construct the Gwadar-Khunjrab Rail Link at an estimated cost of Rs250 billion. This cost includes Rs160 billion for infrastructure and Rs90 billion for locomotives on electric traction. This investment is designed on a four-year, soft-loan term basis.

The offer was made to Minister for Railways Khwaja Sa’ad Rafique on behalf of the consortium in a detailed presentation carried out by Song Shuan Ping. The loan can be treated as a professional loan, commercial loan or a grant and will be payable in seven years.

Pointing out the strategic importance of Gwadar-Khunjrab Rail Link, Ping listed a number of benefits which could be availed once the project was operational. “The main aim of the link is to connect the Central Asian Republics with the Pakistan Railways Network,” said Ping. “This will immensely improve trade relations between China and Pakistan.”

Ping further pointed out that this rail link can be used to supply oil from the Persian Gulf to Pakistan. Additionally, this network will bring tourism in Pakistan and create employment in Balochistan.

While presenting their proposal, the representatives of the consortium suggested using electric traction as compared to the currently used diesel traction. They added that the use of electric traction will bring an added benefit of electricity on trains and railway stations. The team pointed out that electric traction has substantial benefits of approximately Rs32 billion per annum which included saving fuel cost, less staff required and elimination of power vans.

Rafique appreciated the offer by the Chinese companies. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has highlighted the importance of the Gwader-Khunjrab Rail link several times,” said Rafique. “The offer will be given serious consideration and a decision will be reached soon.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2013.

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Shah | 7 years ago | Reply

@Asad Khan: Fully Agreed Chance of A Lifetime

Asad Khan | 7 years ago | Reply

@LoyalPakistani: Not so fast Mr. Loyal,

Chinese do not deal in peanuts, They are buying stuff worldwide and they bought the Canadian Tar Sands as well.

Further, we don't even have the luxury to upgrade the existing port infrastructure at KPT let alone the money to construct the port by itself like Gwadar.

Gen Pervaiz had taken the loan from China for specifically to construct the Gwadar port, he did it in time, China is happy that Pak is worth of its salt. Now, the force multiplier Gwadar-Khunjarab link is coming. Pak is under IMF programme, Pak does not have the kitty for such massive projects which are absolutely vital for Pak.

Our good old Uncle Sam is not even waving us gas from Iran let alone keep push us for do more.

Had we been not on friendly terms with China all these past years, the West & India shackled up Pak long ago.

We should be thankful to the Chinese. Long Live Pak China Friendship.


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