‘Govt arranging power for future at affordable rates’

ISLAMABAD: The 1320MW Port Qasim coal project has achieved financial close and its first unit will start generation by December 2017 while construction of 1,02MW Gulpur hydropower project has started.

Similarly, 1320MW coal project at Sahiwal by Huaneng Shandong Ruyi of China is under construction and is scheduled to achieve commercial operationalisation in December 2017, while 660MW Engro Powergen Thar coal-based power project has signed financing documents and is expecting financial closing in a few weeks.

This was stated by officials at the 103rd meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held on Wednesday. Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif presided over the meeting.

PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza spoke on current status of various coal and hydropower projects being handled by the PPIB.

He stated that 1,000MW small projects based on R-LNG are targeted to start production during the first quarter of 2017.

The meeting was informed that 147MW Patrind Hydropower project would achieve its commercial operation date by March 2017 as construction work is in full swing.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said that the government is following a multi-pronged policy to address the power sector issues by using coal, hydro and R-LNG for electricity generation.

He said the investors are being facilitated to meet their commercial operation dates by the end of 2017 and early 2018. The government is arranging power for future needs at affordable rates instead of expensive electricity, he added.

Different ongoing private power generation projects, particularly the projects being undertaken under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were discussed in the meeting.

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