Originally published in the Daily Times (Pakistan)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China are set to establish a corporation to attract investment for nuclear and coal-based power plants and large dams in the country, sources in the Water and Power Ministry told Daily Times.
The Pak-China Joint Power Corporation will also help develop technology and technical expertise for the new power projects. Pakistani and Chinese authorities had discussed the proposal during a meeting in the Foreign Office on September 24 and had decided that a framework for the organisation would be devised in a minister-level meeting in China soon, the sources said.
They said President Asif Ali Zardari and his Chinese counterpart are expected to make an announcement in this regard after their meeting in China.
The corporation will solicit investment from Chinese investors for the Basha Dam project, the Thar Coal project and phases 3 and 4 of the Chashma nuclear power plant.
Construction of Basha Dam was likely to begin in one year’s time, the sources said. The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) had completed the design of the dam and was working on the process of pre-bidding for the construction contract, they added.
Other hydroelectric power projects the corporation would seek funds for include Munda Dam, Kohala Dam and the Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project.
The two new nuclear power projects at Chashma would cost Rs 129.37 billion that would generate 640 megawatts of power, the sources said. The government has allocated Rs 100 million for the projects in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the 2008-09 fiscal year, and expects to get Rs 80.36 billion for the projects from international donor institutions and other countries.
The projects are part of the government’s Vision 2030 plan, which includes generating 8,000 megawatts of power from nuclear plants.