ISLAMABAD - Gwa­dar-related activities are progressing well as more than $250 million have been initially spent on the provision of more facilities at the port including its ren­ovation while more invest­ments are in the pipeline.

“Besides, new cranes have been added for un­loading cargo along with works on the establish­ment of a business cen­tre, a desalination plant and sewage dispos­al systems,” said Zhang Baozhong, Chief Exec­utive Officer of China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) which operates the Gwadar Port in a report published by Gwadar Pro on Saturday.

He said as for the ne­cessity of desalination plants, they are needed to meet the acute scarcity of water and to meet future needs of the locals.

The cost of desalination plant being built on prior­ity basis by COPHC is Rs 1.95 billion. It will provide 5,000 gallons of water per day to people, he added.

He explained that pow­er supply is another im­portant factor and said in this area, the construction of a local 300-mw power, imported-coal-fired plant started some months ago, with the original cost of the project being $ 542 million.

While saying that this port is becoming a node in international shipping, Zhang added, “Of course, the progress is not very fast but it takes time. By 2030, we believe that Gwadar will be a new econom­ic hub of Pakistan and the highest GDP contributor to Pakistan’s economy.”

Economists and ana­lysts in Pakistan are of the considered opinion that once the global and re­gional economy takes off in new form, these foreign companies will enhance their investments in Gwa­dar projects.