ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday cleared the construction of infrastructure for a 6,600 megawatt (MW) Pakistan Power Park Project at Gadani which will cost approximately Rs144.6 billion, paving the way for signing power purchase agreements with Chinese investors next month.
The project was cleared by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) –the body that has the mandate to approve projects costing up to Rs3 billion. It also has the mandate to recommend projects which cost over Rs3 billion to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).
The sanction was given ahead of the Energy Working Group of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) meetings, which are scheduled for August. During the upcoming working group meetings, Pakistan and China are expected to sign power purchase agreements.
China will provide debt to cover 85% of the project cost, while the rest of the finances would be arranged by the government of Pakistan, according to a handout issued by the Ministry of Planning.
The project is aimed at developing infrastructure facilities at the Pakistan Power Park at Gadani for establishing 10,660 MW of imported coal-fired power generation plants.
The project will help in developing the infrastructure of the Pakistan Power Park at Gadani by installing a coal supply system, jetty head, cooling water facilities and several other installations. The project was recommended for consideration of the ECNEC.
The CDWP, headed by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, cleared six projects costing Rs177.4 billion in total, including a foreign exchange component of Rs126.6 billion.
It also sanctioned Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme K-IV (Sindh), Kala Dhaka Area Development Project (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Khyber Area Development Project (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa),construction of 50-bedded hospital – including hostels and other equipment at Pasni (Balochistan) and Red Chilies Processing Centre (Sindh).
While discussing the Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) (Phase-I), the planning minister said that the financial share of the federal government in the project has been raised from one-third to half, in compliance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment during his recent visit to Karachi.
The minister said that some people blamed the federal government of interfering in provincial matters. He added that federal government interference in a such a project was done so in a positive manner.
Iqbal was referring to a recent statement by former President Asif Ali Zardari, who had accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of behaving like an emperor.
The CDWP sought assurance from provincial authorities regarding the availability of water in the project, and directed authorities to provide clean drinking water to the people of Karachi on an urgent basis.
The minister expressed his reservations over the waste management system in Karachi, saying that the solid waste of Karachi was dumped into the sea which was creating many environmental and health hazards for people.
The forum approved the project — subject to the condition that the cost escalation in the project in any case will be borne by the provincial government.
Iqbal also stressed upon the use of funds in an efficient manner and to ensure transparency at all stages from the authorities.
The conditionally approved Kala Dhaka Area Development Project would cost Rs1.7 billion, and Khyber Area Development Project has been estimated to be completed at Rs1.3 billion.
The project is aimed at supporting rural transformation as well as promoting legitimate agricultural activities and enhancing the mobility through the construction of roads in select areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The CDWP also approved the construction of 50-bedded hospital in the Pasni area of Balochistan at a cost of Rs441 million.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government also approved the Red Chilies Processing Centre (RCPC) project of the Industries and Production Division – costing Rs244.7 million. The project had been deferred during the Pakistan Peoples Party government after getting criticism for using sacred resources for the processing centre.
The CDWP also approved the Balochistan Nutrition Program for Mothers and Children costing Rs1.5 billion.