Joint energy projects help boost Pakistan's growth

  • Tuesday, December 19, 2023

  • Keywords:Pakistan, CPEC
[Fellow]"CPEC has laid a good foundation for Pakistan's industrialization, modernization as well as interconnection with other countries," Wang said.


Energy projects constructed as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have helped remove bottlenecks restricting Pakistan's growth, and laid a solid foundation for economic development of local communities, experts said.
Of the 22 priority projects adopted for the first phase of construction of CPEC, half are energy projects, according to Wang Shida, deputy director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
Energy infrastructure projects have been an important part of China-Pakistan cooperation on CPEC construction, Wang said.
"Through the joint efforts of the two countries, Pakistan's power generation capacity has been greatly improved, and the problem of insufficient power generation has basically been solved," he added.
CPEC, which was launched in 2013, is a corridor that runs from Kashgar in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to Gwadar Port in southern Pakistan, featuring a number of infrastructure projects along the way.
Hu Hao, senior business manager of PowerChina Resources, said a coal-fired power plant co-developed by the company in southern Pakistan has provided "affordable and reliable electricity" for local residents.
The Port Qasim Coal-Fired Power Plant, located by the Arabian Sea in Karachi, has been jointly developed by PowerChina Resources and Qatar's Al Mirqab Capital. It is the first CPEC energy project in which a third country is involved, Hu said.
The power plant started commercial operations in April 2018. From 2019 to 2022, it contributed an average of about 7 percent of Pakistan's power supply annually, said Hu, who worked on the project in Pakistan for more than six years.
In October 2016, the project, which was under construction at the time, sent 100 Pakistani college graduates it had employed to China for training for six months, Hu said, adding that these people became "the backbone" of Pakistan's power sector several years later.
"These stories are happening not only on this project, but also on all CPEC projects," Hu said.
The Karot hydropower plant located on Jhelum River is another CPEC energy project.
China Three Gorges Corporation, the developer of the hydropower plant, which started commercial operations in June 2022, said the facility has a total installed capacity of 720,000 kilowatts, and can meet the power requirements of more than five million people.
"During the construction of CPEC projects, the Chinese government and enterprises attached great importance to the livelihood and well-being of the local people, which has resulted in tangible benefits for the Pakistani economy and society," said Wang, from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
Eye-catching results
This year marks the 10th anniversary of CPEC, which is a flagship project of the Belt and Road cooperation. Over the past decade, the construction of CPEC has yielded eye-catching results, according to experts and officials.
The corridor has brought to Pakistan $25.4 billion of direct investment, created 236,000 jobs, built 510 kilometers of expressways, generated more than 8,000 megawatts of electric power and constructed 886 kilometers of core transmission grids, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong said at a CPEC-related event in Islamabad in November.
In a report released in October 2022, China's National Bureau of Statistics said the 22 priority projects for the first phase of CPEC have been completed, and the second phase of construction began in 2021.
Noting that CPEC has now entered a new stage of high-quality development, Wang said that cooperation of industries will play a significant role in the second phase of CPEC's construction.
Such cooperation should cover a series of sectors, including photovoltaic industry, mobile phone manufacturing, next-generation communications technologies and food processing, Wang said.
He also said there is "huge potential" for agricultural cooperation under CPEC.
"CPEC has laid a good foundation for Pakistan's industrialization, modernization as well as interconnection with other countries," Wang said.
The corridor "is bound to become a key carrier" for China-Pakistan cooperation, where the two countries support each other in a "changing, and sometimes chaotic" world, he said. Xinhua
  • [Editor:kangmingfei]

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