Pakistan, China sign $1.5 billion hydropower project deal
Pakistan’s economic future lies in CPEC: PM
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would take Pakistan on the path of rapid progress and development as its economic future was related to the completion of various energy and infrastructure projects.
He was speaking after witnessing the signing of agreement with China Gezhouba for Azad Pattan hydropower project at a ceremony here.
A part of CPEC, with an investment of US$ 1.5 Billion, 700.7 MW Azad Pattan will involve no fuel import, thus enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities. The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026.
The prime minister further said time would prove the long term benefits of CPEC which was based upon economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.
He said Pakistan could learn a lot from China in realms of economic progress and prosperity as the country was fast emerging as world economic power.
He expressed the optimism that in the future, they would learn from the Chinese experiences. The CPEC had different phases with various bright aspects for prosperity and progress, he added.
Referring to the signing of agreement, the prime minister said it was part of the investment to complete a power project based upon the clean energy.
Unlike the past, the project would not burden the people, he said and mentioned the previous governments’ costly projects which were made functional with imported fuel, thus increasing the cost of energy manifold and stressing the local currency.
The prime minister said due to those policies, the power industry ran into losses impacting the consumers.
He regretted that the country could not compete with its neighbouring countries in terms of generating the low-cost energy.
He said the hydro power generation was considered as big source of clean energy which was also in line with his government’s policy of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ and regarded as environment friendly.
It would also help stem the impacts of the global warming, he added.
The prime minister also appreciated the energy ministry, CPEC authority, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab governments for the agreement over the project. - APP