Pakistan and China are all set to sign up to $15 billion in infrastructure and investment projects during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad on Sunday.
According to the Planning and Development Ministry, Pakistan expects to sign over $4 billion in government-to-government infrastructure deals. Another $10.5 billion worth of commercial deals will also be signed in the energy sector for power generation projects collectively expected to have a capacity to generate 7,250 megawatts.
During his visit, the Chinese President will also perform the ground-breaking ceremony of several infrastructure projects, including a $44 million cross border fiber optic data communication system project between Khunjerab and Islamabad, a digital terrestrial multimedia broadcast pilot project at Murree, the $1.4 billion Orange Line Mass Transit project in Lahore, a cultural centre in Islamabad, a small and medium hydro research centre and the Pak-China FM 98 radio channel, the 720 MW Karot hydropower project, a 200 MW wind power project and the 900 MW Zeonergy Solar Power Project Bahawalpur.
Both governments are expected to sign framework agreements for several infrastructure projects, including the construction of the $2.6 billion Multan-Sukkur section of the Karachi-Lahore Motorway, the $920 million Thakot-Havelian section of Karakoram Highway Phase-II, the $230 million Gwadar Eastbay Expressway, and the $140 million Gwadar International Airport project.
The finance ministry will sign the financing agreements of these four key projects, which will create an operational connection between China’s eastern provinces and Gwadar Port.
A land lease deed for Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone will be signed between China Overseas Port Holding Company and Gwadar Port Authority. A framework agreement between Pakistan and China for Gwadar-Nawabshah gas pipeline and Gwadar LNG terminal will be inked as well. Majority of agreements will be signed in the energy sector and China will extend loans for projects expected to install 7,250 MW of power generation capacity in Pakistan, in addition to two coal-mining projects at Thar.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2015.