BEIJING: Pakistan is to get around 5,600 MW of electricity through five major projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by the year 2017-18.  

Chinese companies are already working on these energy projects with full enthusiasm. The total cost of these projects has been estimated around US dollar 10 billion, which is being provided by Chinese Banks. Some of the cost will be borne by the companies themselves which enjoy the complete support of the Chinese leadership. This was stated by Pakistan’s Special Envoy on CPEC, Zafaruddin Mahmood, in an interview today.

These projects will be functional as Independent Power Plants (IPPs) under the power purchase agreement and there will be no liabilities on the government of Pakistan as far as their construction is concerned. The government of Pakistan will purchase the electricity as per relevant IPP rules and regulations.

Zafaruddin Mahmood further said that the two sides are also working closely for the construction of infrastructure development projects under the CPEC. He hoped that work on KKH-phase-II , Karachi-Lahore motorway (Multan-Sukkar section) ,Gwadar international airport and Gwadar East Bay Expressway will be started before the end of the year and its completion is expected by the end of 2017.

The Chinese government is providing mixed loans facility (including grant assistance, interest-free and concessional loans) to undertake these projects.   

Another important area of bilateral cooperation under the CPEC is the development of special industrial zones. To this effect, a pilot project at Gwadar is being started. The project will include a commercial complex (hotel, exhibition hall, apartments, and shopping mall), fish and marble processing factories and a captive power plant. China Overseas Port Holding company is investing for the project and the construction is expected to be started by the end this year. 

Efforts are being made to make the pilot project operational by 2017. The special envoy said that the two sides remain in touch at various levels to ensure the implementation of CPEC in its true spirit. The CPEC, he said is major development  in further  consolidating Sino-Pak socio-economic partnership meeting the aspirations of their people.