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CPEC energy projects of 2400MW on fast- track for implementation

By Fatima Javed | Gwadar Pro Aug 26, 2022

Islamabad, Aug 26, (Gwadar Pro)-Facing soaring energy bills, rising costs and rapidly declining consumer purchasing power, the government of Pakistan has decided to put three renewable energy projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the fast-track for implementation.

Two hydro and one solar power plants with the capacity of 2400MW will be constructed to provide cheap electricity to consumers. These projects have been facing years of delay, but now the government intends to remove hurdles in the way of these projects.

The projects that were discussed under the scheme included 1,124-megawatt Kohala hydropower project, having an estimated cost of $2.4 billion and a designed annual output of over 5100GWh. Once operational, it is expected to significantly improve the local power supply and drive the social and economic development in Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K).

Secondly, the 700.7MW Azad Pattan hydropower project, costing $1.6 billion. This project aims to establish a hydroelectric power station upstream of the Jhelum River in the Sudhanoti district, AJK, and will be 90km away from Islamabad.

The third project is the second phase of 600MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (Bahawalpur) with a cost of $500 million. The first utility-scale, grid connected solar power plant in Pakistan consists of 400,000 solar panels, spreading over 200 hectares of flat desert. The plant is currently generating 400 MW of electricity.  The Solar Park, in the long run, is expected to play a critical role in attempting to bridge the supply demand gap that Pakistan is facing.

The electricity prices in the country are expected to climb even after a downturn in international fuel prices, as long as there is no move to initiate long-standing power sector reforms in order to reduce reliance on imported fuels and encourage renewable energy.

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