Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Saturday directed that top priority will be accorded for completion of the Gadani Power Park Project aimed at generating 6600 MW electricity to meet country’s growing industrial and domestic requirements. Chairing a meeting of Gadani Power Park Steering Committee here at Gadani in Hub, Balochistan, the Prime Minister said the project was vulture hinged on it. He directed that all measures be taken to fast track it.

The Prime Minister also evinced keen interest in the power project that will house ten power plants of 660 MW each and was estimated to cost around US 14 billion dollars.

He was informed that work on the project will start in March 2014 and Pakistan will install the first power plant, while the rest will be installed by foreign investors on built-own-operate and transfer basis. IPPs will be selected through international bidding by Pakistan Power and Infrastructure Board.

The Prime Minister said China has shown interest in installing four power plants.

He directed to simplify the procedures in award of projects to private companies in a transparent manner.

He said the process must be designed so that projects are awarded on fast track basis.

In this regard, he mentioned the way his previous government worked on the M-2 Motorway projects and said if he had not initiated the work through private sector, there would have been no progress.

The Prime Minister also informed the meeting that he will be visiting Turkey on the invitation of its Prime Minister from September 16 to 18. He said the Turkish Prime Minister has also invited Pakistani businessmen to Turkey, so that they can interact with their counterparts and enter into joint ventures.

He asked Pakistani private sector to hold a road show in Istanbul to seek Turkish investment in the power projects.

The Prime Minister was informed that the Balochistan government will provide 5000 acres of land for the power park that will be connected with a seven km long jetty to bring in 20 million tonnes of coal.

Prime Minister Sharif also appreciated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for ensuring the payment of the circular debt.

The Prime Minister was told that Pakistan Power Park Management Company has been incorporated to carry out the infrastructural work of the project and seed money of Rs1 billion has been allocated for the company.

The Prime Minister lauded efforts of the Water and Power Minister and Secretary concerned for carrying forward the power projects.

He said various parties were interested to take part in the Gadani Power Project so the government should accomplish its own task at earliest to win confidence of the other parties.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Finance Minister to approach the World Bank to arrange funding for the project. The finance minister opined that the private companies can also manage the same at their own from their respective financial institutions and hoped that there would be no funding issue in this regard.

The Prime Minister said the project should be duly publicized to aware the private investors and also directed the finance minister to arrange a briefing for the local bankers on the project as they too were interested to be part of it.

Secretary Water and Power assured the Prime Minister that the project will be completed on fast track basis. He said the NTDC has been launched to work out a plan regarding transmission lines of the project that would benefit the whole country.

The briefing was attended by Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Malik Baloch, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Energy Mussadiq Malik, Shaukat Fayaz A. Tareen.