Chinese businessmen have said investments they are putting in Pakistan are safe as both the countries enjoy excellent relations at government and public level.
“The global investments we make in any country depend on the nature of relationships between China and the particular country,” said Orient Evertrust Capital Group’s Chairman Jiang Xue Ming, while talking with The Express Tribune.
“Since Pakistan and China have excellent relationships, so we feel our investments in this country are completely safe,” he added.
A group of Chinese investors is currently in Islamabad as the Chinese president is arriving in Pakistan today (Monday) to sign some 50 different accords worth $46 billion, majority of which are energy based.
Heads of all Chinese companies have already reached Islamabad and are meeting with government officials and their counterparts for timely and speedy implementation of accords and projects.
Orient Group is spearheading this endeavour in collaboration with Shanghai Electric Corporation, which will install 1400MW mine mouth coal-fired power plants in Thar from the coal extracted from Block -1 of Thar coal field.
The total cost of the project is $3.5 billion from which $1.5 billion is for extracting the coal and the rest is for installation of mine mouth power plants.
Jiang said they are not limited to this project but are also considering other parts of the country for installation of power plants as they see lots of opportunities in Pakistan due to energy crisis which they believe will end with time.
“There are lots of investment opportunities in Pakistan as the country’s energy requirements are increasing more than the population growth. There are lots of opportunities to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector as curbing this crisis is a long term process,” he added.
Jiang is also willing to invest in Punjab though the plans are not clear yet.
“We just have a preliminary meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif but currently we are not engaged with them. We met them to have first-hand information about their plans; however in future we have plans to invest in coal-fired power plants in Punjab,” he added.
“Coal is very important to meet the future energy needs of Pakistan, we think that Pakistan should take full advantage of 175 billion tons of coal reserves in Thar desert of Sindh,” said Weikai Gao, Chief Executive Officer of Global Mining China.
Global Mining China is the parent company of Sino-Sindh Resources, which is working on coal extraction from Block-I at Thar.
Talking with The Express Tribune, Gao said they are not limited to what they are currently doing in Thar, “We have also some other plans, one of which is to expand the coal mining and increase power generation to up to 4000MW from Block-I,” he said.
“In future we will import machinery and boilers from China to dry coal as China is the 3rd country in the world that provides technology to dry the coal. Later, if things go smooth, we will look into the possibilities to export the dry coal,” he said.
Weikai does not see any impediments from the judicial system of Pakistan. “We believe in judicial system of Pakistan and we believe in long lasting friendship between Pakistan and China. We are working and progressing according to the plan to start power generation from first unit in 2018,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2015.