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16 Energy, 8 Transport Infrastructure Projects Completed Under CPEC, Ahsan Iqbal

Reported by: Ms. Fatima Javed

Islamabad, May 24, 2024, The Europe Today: Pakistan has completed 16 energy projects, with a generation capacity of 8,020 MW, along with two coal mines and a +660 kV HVDC transmission line. The total investment in these projects is around USD 16 billion, said Federal Minister of Planning Prof Ahsan Iqbal.

Delivering his opening remarks at the 13th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) virtual meeting on Friday, he said, Eight (08) projects in the transport infrastructure sector have been completed so far, amounting to a cost of US$ 6.7 billion. Several projects, including roads, Gwadar Airport, and Digital Media projects, are currently underway.

Gwadar Airport is about to be completed shortly. 888 km of motorways and highways, financed by both Chinese and local sources, are completed under CPEC and 853 km of roads is currently under construction.

The Minister expressed his pleasure in co-chairing the meeting and extended heartfelt gratitude to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China for their collaboration and continuous support.

He said, Pakistan appreciates the vision of Chinese leadership in upgrading the second phase of CPEC with the inclusion of 5 new corridors. The five new corridors proposed by the Vice Premier, His Excellency, He Lifeng in the 1st decade of CPEC are; Growth Corridor, Livelihood Enhancing Corridor, Innovation Corridor, Green Corridor, Opening Up/Regional Connectivity Corridor.

The Federal Minister revealed that Pakistan and China have reached a consensus to further evaluate and conduct an in-depth study on shifting power plants from imported coal to local coal.“This strategic move will not only reduce Pakistan’s import bill but also facilitate payments to Chinese companies”

He highlighted that mining in Thar has significantly contributed to Pakistan’s energy security and economic growth. He said Pakistan now looks forward to transforming huge coal deposits into green energy through coal gasification.

The development highlights the commitment of both nations to sustainable and mutually beneficial development.

The KKH (Havelian-Thakot) project has received the prestigious ENR award, marking a moment of pride for CPEC’s transport infrastructure sector. This flagship endeavor exemplifies excellence, showcasing its remarkable quality and impact on a global scale.

Planning Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal urged NDRC and NRA to authorize the commencement of the bidding process for ML-1. Pakistan has achieved significant milestones in advancing the Pakistan Railways Mainline-1 project. With the approval of the re-modified PC-1, valued at USD 6.76 billion and divided into two phases, Pakistan is poised to move forward.

Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), is also highlighted as one of Pakistan’s priorities in the 13th JCC. KCR is set to revolutionize transportation for a significant portion of Karachi’s population. The Provincial Government of Sindh has revised the project documents, and the internal processing by the Government of Pakistan is swiftly nearing completion. The project is proposed to be implemented under a Government-to-Government (G2G) arrangement.