ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited 300-megawatt imported coal-fired power plant has been inaugurated in Gwadar with an estimated Chinese investment of around $600 million.
The project was jointly inaugurated by Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe during their visit to the port city on Monday.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, senior government officials and Chinese delegation members were also present on the occasion.
The NDRC vice-chairman has arrived in Pakistan along with a delegation to attend the 9th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), scheduled to be held on November 5 in Islamabad.
As per details, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) would develop the 300MW coal-fired power project, which is part of the flagship CPEC. The important project, which would meet the energy requirements of Gwadar Port, would be supervised by the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA)/Gwadar Development Authority (GDA). The project was already approved in previous JCCs of CPEC. It, as per the plan, would be completed by the last quarter of 2022.
The project has previously seen repeated delays as well as changes in investor portfolios. Contractors had faced difficulties in land acquisition processes while some delays were caused due to managerial and environmental issues.
Sources said the early commencement of work on the delayed project was needed to ensure the provision of uninterrupted electricity to Gwadar, adding that the project would help promote business activities in the newly-developed port, especially with the establishment of special economic zones and export processing zones.
During the meeting between the planning minister and NDRC vice-chairman on Monday, discussions were held on the special incentives package on investments in Gwadar. The NDRC VC expressed pleasure at the proposed package and hoped that it would help uplift the people of the area.
Meanwhile, a donation ceremony was held in Gwadar wherein 4,000 solar energy facilities and 700 school uniform were donated by China. Appreciating the donations, Khusro Bakhtiar noted that provision of 4,000 solar household units would ensure the provision of electricity to Gwadar.
On the occasion, unveiling ceremonies of China-Pakistan Government Faqeer Colony, Middle School Expansion Project and Gwadar Port Authority Commercial Complex project were also held.
In addition, the dignitaries visited the sites of different projects being executed under the CPEC framework, including Gwadar North Free Zone Phase-II, Gwadar International Airport and East Bay Expressway.
CHANGE IN 9TH JCC
In another development, it has been learnt that the Chinese delegation, headed by NDRC vice-chairman, would hold the 9th JCC of CPEC tomorrow (Tuesday) instead of November 6, as announced earlier.
Before the JCC meeting, the officials of the Ministry of Planning and the visiting Chinese experts would also hold meetings where each sector of both centre and provinces would discuss the investment proposals in detail.
Besides, the Joint Working Groups of China and Pakistan in various sectors would also hold separate meetings to analyse the viability of proposed projects in their respective sectors.