Pakistan, China cooperation in hydropower deepens under CPEC framework: Chinese scholar July 09, 2020
ISLAMABAD-BEIJING,The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) continues to make strides under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative as the cooperation in hydropower project construction between China and Pakistan is deepening day by day.
Recently Chinese companies have successively signed contracts for two major hydropower projects worth $2.4 billion and $1.5 billion respectively with Pakistan. Kohala and Azad Pattan that are constructed by subsidiaries of China with Three Gorges Corporation and China Gezhouba Group Corporation, respectively.
Azad Patan Hydropower Station is located on the Jhelum River, Azad Kashmir region, with a total installed capacity of 700 MW. The total installed capacity of Kohala Hydropower Station will reach 1124 MW, Prof Zhou Rong, special commentator of China Economic Net (CEN) and senior fellow of Chongyang Institute of Financial Study of Renmin University said in his article.
Currently Pakistan is moving forward to produce clean and cheaper electricity instead of utilizing the expensive imported fuel. The new projects are bringing billions of dollars of foreign investment instead of putting burden of loans on the government. As per Chairman, CPEC Authority, Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, the willingness and confidence of China and Pakistan to jointly promote the construction of CPEC has never changed, and the efforts made by both parties have never stopped.
The pace of the corridor project construction is gradually recovering and accelerating, as a series of basic work has been completed, and the preparation of CPEC phase II has been completed.
Hydro power generation has always been considered as a big source of clean energy. Pakistan and China agreed to include the 700 megawatts Azad Pattan hydropower project into CPEC, which is to be financed via Chinese RMB, not US dollars.
It should be stressed here, when the projects completed, it will benefit a large population. If the two hydropower projects can be completed on schedule, 1,800 MW should benefit 7.2 million people since 100 MW can provide electricity for 400,000 people. In other words, it will benefit people from Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Azad Kashmir.This is also of great significance to Pakistan's poverty alleviation plan, green economy plan, and tree planting plan (the One Trillion Trees Initiative).
We are very encouraged that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said CPEC would take Pakistan on the path of rapid progress and development as its economic future is related to the completion of various energy and infrastructure projects.
The prime minister further said that time will prove the long term benefits of CPEC which was based upon economic cooperation between Pakistan and China, noting that Pakistan could learn a lot from China in realms of economic progress and prosperity. He was really very optimistic about the future of Pakistan’s prosperity and progress as he said that Pakistan was fast emerging as world economic power; we also hope so.
Right now the CPEC has different phases with various bright aspects for prosperity and progress. Imran Khan and CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa spoke highly of this. We quite agree with Imran Khan’s idea that time further proves that CPEC benefits Pakistan greatly.
Gen. Bajwa was more outspoken. He said that despite the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan, CPEC authority is still working hard to provide much-needed employment opportunities for Pakistan. In the past 10 days, China and Pakistan have signed a project agreement of $4 billion.
Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing moved the Pakistani people with a sentence that the Chinese people sincerely hoped the Pakistani people would enjoy good lives. Here we also need to emphasize that the Chinese people sincerely hope that Pakistan would become an economic power in the world, and CPEC will surely become a hub connecting East Asia and West Asia, a hub between Central Asia and South Asia, and will benefit more countries and people in the region. That is the role of CPEC projects.
CPEC is not only a flagship project of international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, but also a flagship project of Pakistan's economic development. Regardless of the economic difficulties in Pakistan, CPEC remains a never exhaustible cooperative project of Pakistan.
It is also a cooperation that has a direct positive effect on the Pakistani prosperity, and an economic corridor that is updating Pakistan economic building ability. The Pakistani government and business community have become increasingly aware of this. The prospects for cooperation under CPEC are getting increasingly broader.