China-Pakistan Cooperation: China invests in Pakistan's power project
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Release Date:2017-11-07

Pakistan continues to face an average shortage of 4,000 megawatts in the power sector owing to a substantial disconnect between installed power capacity and actual generation. But with the completion of a mega power project, life is about to change for millions of Pakistanis. Our correspondent Danial Khan has more.

A massive power crisis has compelled industries in Pakistan to install back-up generators, while households use battery-powered units, that cost significantly higher. Despite hydropower being the cheapest source of electricity for Pakistan, the high capital costs in power generation have resulted in an increase in energy rates. To tackle the shortfall, Pakistan began its first coal fired power plant. With a cost of two billion dollars, the first unit of 660 of 1320 megawatt Port Qasim Power Project was inaugurated in Karachi, On 29th November 2017.

SHAHID KHAQQAN ABBASSI PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN "This is one of the most environmentally friendly coal power plants in the world and for Pakistan, this plant is currently producing the cheapest power."

The unit is jointly sponsored by Chinese and Qatari firms, and is the first to be built under the umbrella of multibillion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

CAI BIN, CEO PORT QASIM ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY "In may 2015 and till today we spent nearly 30 months, according to the original schedule, now we put the first unit into operation, ahead of schedule."

Under the umbrella of CPEC, a network of power plants are being constructed across Pakistan, and it is not only bringing fresh investment in the country but also creating employment for the youth.

AGHA SAUD KHAN, TRAINEE ENGINEER PORT QASIM ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY "It's a life changing experience for me and for my colleagues, although it was never too easy, you have to work hard, it was very difficult for us, but if you look for the betterment of a country and the relationship between the two countries, it's always a good job."

Experts believe the use of coal as source of power production will change the energy balance in Pakistan, and once all the coal power plants are operational, the cost will be reduced dramatically.

DANIAL KHAN KARACHI The inclusion of 1320 megawatts of electricity into the national grid is surely a major breakthrough for Pakistan's energy sector. It is expected to significantly reduce the ever-growing power crisis in the country, that has been witnessing several hours of daily power outages over the last decade. Danial Khan, CGTN, Karachi.