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PowerChina – builder of Qasim and DBD

By Yu SHI | China Economic Net Jun 11, 2021

2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China and the 34th year of PowerChina's development in Pakistan.

As a pioneer enterprise of CPEC and a Chinese contractor of large power projects including Qasim, Dawood and Diamer-Bahsha Dam, PowerChina has been striving for the construction of electricity supply in Pakistan. To commemorate the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, China Economic Net interviewed Ji Xiaoyong, the chairman of PowerChina International Group Limited.

In Pakistan, one of the most important host countries for PowerChina, a number of major large-scale power facilities are built by PowerChina. Ji introduced: “we have always attached great importance to electricity construction in Pakistan.”

PowerChina has entered Pakistan since 1987 with a long and arduous development course. Ji recalled: “In 1987, we decided to enter the Pakistani market regarding the good policy of reform and opening up. While the domestic market was gradually liberalized, we hoped to participate in the international market and cooperate with more partners. Thanks to the good friendship between Pakistan and China, Pakistan became our first destination to go global.”

At that time, PowerChina won the bid for the KPOD/DPOD project located on the left bank of the Indus River at a price of 136 million. Ji told CEN: “Due to the high difficulty of the project, we had to send all of our workers and equipment, including two dredgers. During the peak period, a total of 47 Chinese and 200 Pakistani personnel were employed. Subsequently, with the efforts of the entire project department, the project was completed on time with high quality. Taking the project as an opportunity, PowerChina has been contributing to electricity supply in Pakistan for 34 years.

The KPOD/DPOD project, which laid a solid foundation for infrastructure cooperation between Pakistan and China, was completed under harsh conditions. “Despite shortage of materials, poor communication, and language barrier, we were ready for construction in only three months, and on November 9th, 1987, the commencement ceremony was successfully held,” Ji said.

In recent years, under the framework of BRI and CPEC, PowerChina has developed rapidly in Pakistan. The project types cover investment and construction, involving various fields such as electricity, hydraulic engineering, infrastructure and so on.

Currently, a total of 82 projects have been completed or are under construction, including a number of landmark projects in Pakistan. Meanwhile, PowerChina employs more than 8,000 Pakistani personnel.

Ji added: “PowerChina's development in Pakistan is a microcosm of PowerChina's overseas development. We are a good contractor when the Pakistani market needs contractors with rich experience and technical capability. We invest in power projects with China's advanced technology and experience and act as a good investor when the Pakistani market needs investment from power companies. During the epidemic period, when there was a shortage of engineers for many projects, we sent Chinese technicians and engineers to Pakistan to ensure the smooth progress of projects. We’ve focused on doing what we are good at and integrating China's development experience with Pakistan's national conditions and our business direction.”

At the end of the interview, Ji said, "PowerChina, an international engineering company that has been working in Pakistan for 34 years, has developed rapidly from EPC to FEPC and PPP. In the future, PowerChina will continue to take root in Pakistan, provide safe, reliable, clean and efficient energy services that suit the local conditions, build a better homeland for the Pakistani people, serve the economic and social development of our iron brother.”

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