China Three Gorges: World’s largest hydropower company is symbol of Pak-China friendship

The world’s largest hydropower company is working on six clean energy projects in Pakistan; major hydropower projects in AJK where it will build a combined capacity close to 2500MW.


The world’s largest hydropower company is working on six clean energy projects in Pakistan; major hydropower projects in AJK where it will build a combined capacity close to 2500MW, with the Kohala HPP being the largest greenfield project among China’s hydropower overseas investment to date and the largest hydropower project under CPEC.

China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) is a state-owned Chinese power company, which has the distinction of being China’s largest clean energy group and the world’s largest hydropower company. It owns and operates multi-stage hydro, solar and wind power generation projects in China and globally, with a cumulative capacity of over 132,000 MW and an asset base of over CNY 837.8 Billion (USD 120.6 Billion).

It owns five of the world’s top ten largest hydropower stations by installed capacity, and it also owns 22,500 MW three gorges dam, which is the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant and is currently developing many mega projects in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

Currently, CTG is operating in more than 40 countries and regions around the world. China Three Gorges International Corporation (CTGI) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CTG. CTGI facilitates implementation of CTG’s global strategy, supporting CTG to become the world’s leading clean energy group.

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It achieved significant progress in developing overseas business, outbound mergers & acquisitions, project construction, and power station management by greenfield investment and equity acquisition with multiple foreign partners. By the end of the year 2019, CTGI had an asset base of CNY 100.6 Billion (USD 14.5 Billion), an installed capacity of 8,230 MW and pipeline capacity of 5,000 MW.

CTG and CTGI incorporated China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Ltd (CSAIL) as its investment platform for clean energy projects in the region. The shareholders of CSAIL also include International Finance Corporation (IFC – a member of the World Bank Group) and Silk Road Fund (SRF – a Chinese sovereign wealth fund). CTGI also founded CTG (Europe) S.A. (CTG Europe), through which CTG acquired a 21.35% stake in Energias de Portugal (EDP), becoming its single largest shareholder and bought some European offshore wind farms.

Moreover, CTGI has also established China Three Gorges (Brasil) Energia Ltda (CTG Brasil), through which CTG has become the second-largest private power generation company in Brazil, in addition to Global Hydro Company and other subsidiaries in various other regions around the globe. CSAIL is committed to becoming the world’s leading and the largest international clean energy group in the region around “One Belt – One Road” (OBOR) initiative.

China Three Gorges

CSAIL’s core values are based on harmony with the ecological and social environment. CSAIL’s mission is to provide reliable and competitive clean energy for the society, while actively implementing the internationalization strategy of CTG, as per the best international corporate governance standards. CSAIL adheres to the development concept of “building a power station to stimulate the local economy, improve the local environment, and benefit resettled residents”.

CSAIL, under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, is fulfilling key aspects of environmental and socio-economic development, through various initiatives including but not limited to investment in Community Livelihood development and rebuilding, Infrastructure development, Health & Recreation facilities development, provision of facilities and scholarships for advancement of Education and capacity building, etc.

CSAIL also strives to exert its advantages and experiences in technology and management, advocates localized management, provides a large number of jobs, enhances the quality and skills of local people, and enhances the development momentum of the community.

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In today’s global scenario of ever-fluctuating political and economic situations, the demand and supply of energy markets are also witnessing profound variations. Furthermore, the energy, economic, and environment nexus has pushed towards a strong drive to invest in clean and low carbon renewable energy technologies.

Considering energy shortages in Pakistan and to cater for the ever-increasing demand, CSAIL is investing in six (06) clean energy projects in Pakistan, with a cumulative capacity of over 2,600 MW and an investment of more than US$ 6 billion, consisting of 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project, 1124 MW Kohala Hydropower Project, 640 MW Mahl Hydropower Project and 49.5 MW (each) TGF, TGS and TGT Wind Power Projects.

In Pakistan, CSAIL has already achieved some significant milestones, including but not limited to commissioning of TGF, TGS and TGT Wind Power Projects, financial close of Karot Hydropower Project along with the resettlement of project affectees and land acquisition, finalization and approval by the Board of Directors of the EPC contractor and start of construction activities after signing of the Project Agreements.

CSAIL is committed to becoming the world’s leading and the largest international clean energy group in the region around “One Belt – One Road” (OBOR) initiative

Moreover, Kohala Hydropower Project has been approved by the Governments of Pakistan, China and AJK and negotiations on concession agreements are being carried out. The feasibility study of Mahl Hydropower Project has been completed and approved.

Capitalizing on the strong and reputable founder shareholders and international best practice environmental, social and corporate governance standards, CSAIL is raising equity financing from a broad base of international strategic and institutional investors and project finance debt from international banks and financial institutions, including large Chinese commercial banks.

Karot Hydropower Project

The 720 MW, Karot Hydropower Project, is located on the Jhelum River, which is the 4th among the 5 Cascade Hydropower Projects to be developed along Jhelum River. It is the first large-scale hydropower investment construction project under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative of China, and the first hydropower project to be started under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

On September 22, 2018, the Karot Hydropower project successfully achieved the critical milestone of river closure. The Honorable Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, and Honorable Federal Minister for Energy, along with other high-ranking officials of Governments of Pakistan, China and AJK as well as CTG, CTGI, IFC and SRF participated in the ceremony.


The installed capacity of the Karot HPP is 720 MW (4×180MW) with average annual electricity output of 3,206 GWh and annual utilization of 4452h. As a single power generation task hydropower complex, the project’s structure layout includes rockfill dam, spillway, powerhouse, diversion tunnels, head race power tunnels, tailrace tunnel, etc.

The project is being developed under the Power Policy 2002 of the Government of Pakistan (GoP) on a Build-Own-OperateTransfer (BOOT) basis with five years construction period and 30 years concession period. It is expected to achieve Commercial Operation Date (COD) by the end of the year 2021.

Kohala Hydropower Project

The 1124 MW Kohala Hydropower Project is the largest greenfield project among China’s hydropower overseas investment to date and the largest hydropower project under CPEC.

Located in the northeastern region of Pakistan in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) on Jhelum River, the project has been listed as the “Actively Promoted Project” in the CPEC since August 2014 with both the Governments of China and Pakistan keen for fast track implementation of the project for providing cheap and reliable electricity to the National Grid of Pakistan and AJ&K.

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The Project is also being developed under the GoP’s Power Policy 2002 on BOOT basis with an expected concession period of approximately 36.5 years, which includes the construction period of 6.5 years and the operation period of 30 years. The concession period would start with the achievement of the Financial Close of the Project, which is expected to be achieved during the year 2021.

Mahl Hydropower Project

640 MW Mahl Hydropower Project is located 5 km upstream of the confluence of Mahl River with the Jhelum River on the boundary between the state of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and the province of Punjab with some portion of the dam in the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

Implementation of Karot, Kohala and Mahl Hydropower Projects will bring energy security, save foreign exchange in billions of U.S. dollars over the life of these projects, create thousands of jobs, stabilize socio-economic lifestyle of the people of Pakistan and the State of AJK and provide the muchneeded energy on a sustainable basis for the rapid growth of Pakistan.

China Three Gorges

Karot, Kohala, Mahl and other projects being undertaken by CSAIL will also cement the close and brotherly relations between Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China and the GoP.

Three Gorges First Wind Power Project (TGF)

The 49.5 MW Three Gorges First Wind Power Project (TGF) is located in the Jhimpir area of Thatta in the Sindh Province. This project achieved its COD on November 25, 2014, and started supplying the electricity to the national grid of Pakistan. It became the benchmark project to achieve COD in the minimum time duration among all of Pakistan’s Wind Power Generation Projects at that time. It was highly praised by the Pakistani government and industry.

Three Gorges Second & Third Wind Power Projects (TGS and TGT)

The second phase of the Three Gorges Pakistan Wind Power Project was listed in the CPEC Early Harvest Projects’ list in August 2014 to actively promote the project. On September 1, 2016, the two wind power projects under second phase (TGS and TGT) were officially started, and in June 2018, these projects achieved COD, around one hundred (100) days ahead of schedule. These three Wind Power Projects provide about 443 million units of clean electricity to Pakistan each year, meeting the electricity needs of more than 600,000 people.

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Way Forward

With the continuous efforts of the company and its devoted employees, CSAIL is contributing day and night by playing its key role in overcoming the electricity shortfall in Pakistan in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner.

In future, CSAIL shall strive to keep on investing more in the clean energy projects with the aim to become the largest clean energy provider in the region. With the mission to build an international first-class clean energy group, CSAIL is committed to provide clean energy and build beautiful and sustainable communities shared by all.

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