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December 1, 2020

Pakistan, China to sign Gwadar power plant agreement next month

Business

December 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Monday agreed to sign a power purchase agreement next month for 300 megawatts coal power plant to be set up with an estimated cost of over $360 million in Balochistan.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the joint working group on Gwadar.

Officials told The News that the signing of power purchase agreement (PPA) for Gwadar coal power plant has become a deliverable for upcoming joint cooperation committee (JCC) that is expected to be held in December through virtual meeting.

The meeting was co-chaired by Planning Ministry Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana from the Pakistan side and National Development and Reform Commission Director General Ying Xiong from the Chinese side.

The meeting reviewed the progress of projects in Gwadar. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made in port development and Chinese side appreciated the support provided by Pakistan in the port operationalisation particularly enabling the Afghan transit trade through Gwadar.

It was agreed that the step would reduce the logistic cost and facilitate the transshipment trade. The meeting was informed that the Eastbay Expressway will be completed in 2021 and all pending issues have been resolved on priority.

The expressway will connect the port with the 2nd phase of the free trade zone, which will facilitate the business climate of the zone and the port alike. Other projects discussed included New Gwadar International Airport and M-8 motorway for seamless connectivity of Gwadar with the rest of the country and beyond.

The project upon completion will energize industry in Gwadar and will improve the social and economic well-being of the local community.

Other projects in the social sector discussed during the meeting included Pak-China friendship hospital and vocational and technical institute in Gwadar.

For the development of Gwadar as a smart port city, it was reiterated that the provision of fresh water is of utmost importance. The 1.2 million gallons per day desalination plant project was termed critical. Both sides agreed to take necessary measure to complete the project in time.

The meeting was told that the dredging of berthing areas is important for large vessels to access the Gwadar port, which will improve the operationally of the port. For the construction of breakwater, the timely completion of the project was stressed as a crucial intervention required for the fishermen community in Gwadar.

The meeting was told about other social sector development projects under the development package for South Balochistan. The meeting was concluded with signing of the minutes along with finalization of the agreed deliverables of the JWG on gwadar for the forthcoming 10th JCC.