ISLAMABAD - The main hurdle in the implementation of 300MW coal power project has been removed as the federal government has been told by Balochistan government that the process of issuance of NOCs and land acquisition for project has been expedited and the project will soon enter into implementation stage.

Gwadar coal power plant was amongst the early harvest projects under CPEC and its frame work agreement had already been signed but it was facing delay because the Balochistan government was delaying the issuance of NOCs and land acquisition, official source told The Nation.

A meeting on CPEC issues was held here at Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms. The meeting, which was presided over by secretary planning Shoaib Siddique, was attended by Project Director CPEC Hassan Daud Butt, officials from Ministry of Energy (Power Division), government of Balochistan and government of Sindh.

The meeting also discussed the security issues related to Suki Kinari Hydropower project in Naran, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. The Army has already been deployed there but there were issues pertaining to the deployment KP police which has been resolved.

The issue of 300 Gwadar coal power plant was also discussed in the meeting where the representative of Balochistan government intimated that the process of issuance of NOCs and land acquisition for 300MW coal power project has been expedited. “Completion of the process is expected shortly that would facilitate the power project to enter into implementation stage”, he informed. The issue of upfront tariff for the project was also discussed in the meeting, the official said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has already issued letter of interest (LOI) to China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) for development of 300MW imported coal-fired power project at Gwadar. This project is a component of flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative of the governments of China and Pakistan. The company will obtain tariff approval from NEPRA and start construction after achievement of financial closing. The said project has been approved by the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC and the PPIB Board for further processing.

Meanwhile, a press statement issued here stated that the Secretary Planning, Development & Reforms (PD&R), Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui told the meeting that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), being a long-term national project, has to play a huge role in the development of remote regions of the country particularly Balochistan.

Siddiqui, while highlighting the importance of Gwadar development as a modern world-class port city, emphasized on creating a conducive environment for investment as the investors are keenly watching development at Gwadar. On this occasion, officials from Ministry of Energy apprised regarding the progress of power projects under CPEC. The chair instructed for expediting procedures to ensure smooth implementation of CPEC projects and win investors’ confidence.