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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Power generation: Punjab government, China to invest in Balochistan

Power generation: Punjab government, China to invest in Balochistan

LAHORE: The government of Punjab has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Power International (CPI) Holding Limited, a private company, to generate 2,400 megawatt (MW) electricity in Pakistan within the next two to three years.
Speaking to the media, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the MoU was pure investment through which two partners will establish four coal-fired power plants. The plants, which will be set up in the Gadani area of Lasbela district, will produce 600MW each.
Sharif said that coal will be imported to Gadani and the 2,400MW will be shifted to the National Grid Station to distribute power across the country. He said that the MoU was signed within 25 days after he along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had called on the management of CPI during their China visit.
The Punjab chief minister said that the first plants producing 1,200MW will be finalised in two years and the next two in 48 months.
Sharif did not disclose how much was being invested by Punjab and CPI Holding, but said that his government had a “little share”.
When asked if the Balochistan government had been taken on board for the project, the Punjab chief minister replied in the affirmative and said that the people of the province should be happy as China and the Punjab government were making a big investment in Balochistan. He also said that all issues related to the project will be dealt with according to the constitution.
Balochistan is considered to be unsafe for Chinese engineers. The area of Gadani is roughly one hour drive from Karachi and has a Baloch population of roughly 20,000 people.
CPI Holding Limited is a holding company operating through the China Power International Development Limited subsidiary, which owns and operates power generation, transmission, and supply plants. The company is based in Wanchai, Hong Kong.