Energy generation is vital to the future of CPEC and Pakistan, therefore another energy project construction was duly signed off. The Chinese and Pakistan governments have agreed on the building of a USD 2.4 billion 1,124-megawatt hydropower project at Kohala on the Jhelum river.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, was at the signing ceremony and commented on the energy project was: “the country’s biggest-ever foreign investment”. This significant moment represents the largest investment in the power sector made in the CPEC initiative.
Pakistan is committed to environmentally friendly energy creation and the Prime Minister lauded the the focus of the project as a “green and clean power generation” making a leap towards clean energy and decreasing the nation’s reliance on importing fuel.
Speaking further, Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan should have moved into the hydropower sector decades ago. “The country was making good progress when it was producing hydropower, but then it started banking on imported fuel. This made not only the local industry non-competitive, but also put an additional burden on foreign reserves.” Creating electricity with imported fuel (coal and so forth), he added, is a contributor to climate change and damages Pakistan’s environment, so the move to clean energy is welcomed if somewhat late in coming.
The signing event was witnessed by key federal cabinet members. Also in attendance was the Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, CPEC Authority Chairman retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa and representatives of China’s Three Gorges company.
The project has been awarded to Kohala Hydropower Company (KHCL), which is a subsidiary of China’s Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC). It is set to bring jobs to the area
The Hydropower plant is expected to be completed by 2026