ISLAMABAD - Financial close has been achieved for 870 mega watts Suki Kinari Hydro Power Project, to be completed under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The documents for the financial close was signed by Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza and Suki Kinari Hydropower Project Chief Executive Haseeb Khan here on Monday.

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who is also the chairman of PPIB, witnessed the ceremony. Suki Kinari is located on Kunhar River in the Kaghan Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has fulfilled all the prerequisite for the financial close. Suki Kinari is the first hydro project being executed by the Independent Power Producer (IPP).

While talking to journalists, the minister said that it is the first hydro power project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa being developed by the private sector and so far the largest hydro power generation by IPP in the country. The construction activities at the site of project have already commenced and 2,793 canals of land had been purchased for the project.

The minister said that the project is expected to start generating 3,081 GWh million electricity annually by 2022. He said that that KP will get an amount of Rs1.3 billion annually as a royalty from the project. The minister further said that work on various power projects was underway which will help to end load shedding in 2018. Currently there was zero loadshedding in more than 200 feeders in KP, he said.

Khawaja, however, said loadshedding would continue in those areas where recovery of electricity bills would be less. He said that power theft was across the Pakistan and they are taking measures to control it. The minister said that 340MW Chashma-III nuclear power plant had already become operational while Chashma-IV would start generation in coming April.

The minister said that Nandipur power project would be operational on gas by April. Replying a query, the minister said that work on Diamer Bhasha dam had been divided in two parts as one related to water storage and second would be power house. He said that the govt was trying to start work on part of storage from its own resources. He said that the govt had spent $1b on procurement of land for Bhasha dam. He said that different countries had shown interest to invest in this dam and the construction work on this dam would begin during the current year. He said that Neelum Jhelum hydropower project would be completed this year. He said that draft of water policy would be moved to Council of Common Interests (CCI) for approval.

The Suki Kinari project is being sponsored by M/s Al-Jomaih Holding Company, (LLC) (Saudi Arabia), China Gezhouba Group Company (China) and Haseeb Khan (Pvt) Ltd. (Pakistan). The project is being developed with an investment outlay of $1,800 million through Debt Equity ratio of 75:25. The lenders for the project include Export-Import Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).