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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistan Seeks Chinese Support for Hydropower Projects Amid CPEC Focus

Pakistan seeks Chinese support to advance critical hydropower projects under CPEC, focusing on energy diversification and bilateral cooperation for sustainable economic development.

Pakistan’s Planning Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, has intensified efforts to secure Chinese support for advancing key hydropower projects essential to the country’s energy strategy. During discussions with Zhang Jianghua, Chairman of China’s National Energy Administration, held at the Diaoyutai Guest House in Beijing, Iqbal emphasized the significance of expediting the Kohala and Azad Pattan hydropower projects. These projects, with a combined capacity of over 1,800 megawatts (MW), are pivotal components of Pakistan’s energy sector transformation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Iqbal underscored the importance of the “green corridor” initiative announced by Vice Premier He Lifeng during his recent visit to Pakistan, emphasizing its role in CPEC’s second phase. This initiative aims to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of Pakistan’s energy sector through renewable and clean energy sources. Additionally, Iqbal reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to revitalize the momentum of CPEC projects to achieve high-quality development outcomes.

Focus on Energy Diversification and Reform

Central to Pakistan’s energy strategy is the diversification of its energy mix towards cleaner and renewable sources. Minister Iqbal emphasized this shift, aiming to make electricity more accessible and affordable for consumers and businesses by addressing issues such as line losses and power theft. By enhancing the efficiency of the energy sector, Pakistan seeks to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity, contributing to economic growth and development.

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The meeting also addressed critical initiatives to strengthen Pakistan’s energy management systems. Discussions centered on reducing theft and line losses, crucial steps towards enhancing the sector’s overall efficiency. Iqbal’s engagement with Chinese officials underscores the collaborative efforts between the two countries to modernize Pakistan’s energy infrastructure under CPEC.

Joint Coordination and Project Implementation

Amid preparations for the upcoming Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting, both sides emphasized the importance of sustained cooperation to advance CPEC projects. The JCC serves as the primary decision-making body for CPEC initiatives, highlighting the strategic significance of ongoing discussions between Pakistan and China. Efforts to streamline project implementation, particularly for hydropower ventures like Kohala and Azad Pattan, reflect the shared commitment to bolster Pakistan’s energy capacity and economic resilience.

Minister Iqbal’s engagements with top Chinese energy companies further underscore Pakistan’s focus on strengthening bilateral partnerships to drive progress in key infrastructure projects. These interactions pave the way for enhanced collaboration in power transmission and distribution, crucial elements in realizing the transformative potential of CPEC for Pakistan’s energy landscape.

This comprehensive engagement between Pakistan and China underscores the strategic importance of CPEC in advancing energy security, economic modernization, and sustainable development in Pakistan. By leveraging Chinese expertise and support, Pakistan aims to accelerate the implementation of critical energy projects, positioning itself for long-term energy sustainability and economic growth.