A tripartite agreement has been finalized between China Three Gorges Corporation, the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) for the implementation of the Kohala hydroelectric project of 1,124 megawatts in AJK in the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The project is aimed at annually providing more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity for consumers in Pakistan and AJK. This marks one of the largest investments of $2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in Pakistan and AJK.
Furthermore, another hydroelectric power project – the 102MW Gulpur project – located at Poonch River, Kotli district of AJK met the commercial operation date on March 10, 2020.
Federal Minister of Energy Omar Ayub Khan, while chairing the 127th meeting of the PPIB, praised the Infrastructure Council for playing a crucial role in optimizing the production of hydroelectric power. He said the government was determined to ensure long-term energy sustainability and reliability for which renewable energy, hydroelectric power and indigenous coal-based projects were being prioritised.
PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza briefed PPIB on the status of upcoming PPIs, explaining that various projects may experience delays in reaching critical milestones mainly due to Covid-19 and that project sponsors are requesting support of PPIB to combat the situation. The Board, while taking into account the intensity of the case, authorized the extension of the validity of the Letter of Support/financial closing date for the 1,124 MW Kohala hydroelectric project.
It also agreed to provide support for Thar coal-based power generation projects in getting required extension in the backdrop of the global pandemic.
Agreeing on a proposal, the board with the consensus of all provinces and AJK allowed extension in the validity of Letters of Interest in respect of 640MW Mahl, 450MW Athmuqam and 82.25MW Turtonas-Uzghor hydroelectric power projects for accommodating these IPPs under the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan.
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