Pakistan envisions $ 11 bln Chinese investment in energy sector

Ambassador to China Masood Khan has said  that Pakistan envisions a Chinese investment of more than US $ 11 billion in the energy sector during the next five years. The Ambassador expressed these views in his introductory remarks at  a Road Shows held here for the management, operation, maintenance and rehabilitations of the nine public sector thermal power complexes through private sector Operation and Maintenance contractors by Pakistan’s Private Infrastructure Board (PPIB).

He said that a major part of Pak-China economic cooperation is focused  on energy development.
He pointed out that  PPIB is a prestigious organization. Since 1994,  under its aegis, the energy generation capacity of the private sector has increased to more than 8000 megawatts. PPIB have even more ambitious plans for the future and expects to add an additional 8000 megawatts in the next 5-6 years.
The Government of Pakistan has now asked PPIB to outsource management,  operation, maintenance (O&M) and up gradation of nine public sector  thermal power  plants, with an installed capacity of around 4500 megawatts, to the private sector. These plants are currently producing only 1400 to 2000 megawatts of electricity.
Chinese enterprises have undertaken numerous projects in Pakistan in  hydropower, thermal, nuclear and alternate energy sectors, he said adding The 5- year development programme in particular encompasses the whole spectrum of economic cooperation but lays special emphasis on energy cooperation.
The Mangla dam raising,  Kohala dam, Neelum Jhelum dam, the Nandipur and  the Chichokimalian Thermal power projects are some of the important projects being undertaken by Chinese enterprises in Pakistan.
A number of big hydro, coal and alternate energy worth billions of dollars are in the pipeline, he noted. Last year, our top leadership decided to set up a Pakistan China Joint Energy Working Group (JEWG).
The Group’s first session held in August this year has indentified a vast  array of coal, hydro, thermal, and alternate energy projects.  This Ministerial level working group will ensure that all projects undertaken between Pakistan and China have the full support of our governments.
He said that most economic analysts now believe that a major portion of  future global growth is going to take place in developing countries, particularly in Asia.
In Pakistan, despite the adverse international economic situation due to  weak demand in Europe and the recent financial crisis, the economy remains essentially robust with high demand for consumer goods and energy.
During recent years, Khan said that in tandem with our strong political  and strategic ties, economic cooperation with China has grown substantially.
Last year our overall bilateral trade with China grew by 28 % and  Pakistan exports to China increased by 37 % setting a good trend, he noted.
We also have Free Trade Agreements on goods, investment, and services, a  Free Trade Commission, and a Five Year Economic and Trade Development Programme for structured and targeted economic cooperation, he added.    
He said that we invite the Chinese corporations to consider participating  in the management and operations of these projects because of five reasons: (1) Pakistan and China enjoy ideal relations; (2) Pakistan’s environment is hospitable for Chinese investments; (3) Chinese corporations have proven competency to take on such portfolios because of their prolonged exposure and experience in Pakistani markets;  (4) China is fast emerging as the biggest energy investor in Pakistan; and (5) investments in Pakistan are win-win partnerships.
Khan expressed the hope that private management of these enterprises will  ensure timely investments, increased efficiency and enhanced productivity. The Government of Pakistan is offering generous incentives through taxation, tariffs and guarantees.
He concluded by saying that we in Pakistan are proud of our growing  relations with cutting edge, world class Chinese energy corporations which have chosen Pakistan for their present and future investments.

Associated Press Of Pakistan ( Pakistan’s Premier NEWS Agency )

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