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Committee calls for expediting pace on CPEC energy projects

Asad Umar was chairing the second meeting of the Pak-China relations steering committee. Source: APP.

ISLAMABAD; Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has directed to expedite the pace of work on the ongoing projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chairing the second meeting of the Pak-China relations steering committee, the federal minister reviewed the ongoing projects under CPEC and discussed the issues faced by the investors.

The committee discussed the delays in CPEC energy projects owing to COVID-19 pandemic and directed the power division to formulate a policy to deal with commercial operation dates (COD) extensions issues of the power projects.

The projects that require extension have a total generation capacity of 3,584MW and include 330mw each of Thar Coal Block-II and ThalNova Coal, 1320MW of Thar Coal Block-II, 884MW Sukki-Kinari Hydropower and 720MW Karot Hydropower project.

The power division was also directed to ensure the availability of sufficient power for the operationalisation of the 660 KV HVDC Matari Lahore Transmission Line from September 1, 2021.

The committee also directed National Electric Power Regulation Authority (NEPRA) to finalise tariff for the project during the testing stage. The meeting also discussed the 884 MW Suki Kinari project and gave directions to relevant authorities to settle the project operational issues on priority.

The chair directed Ministry of Communication to expedite work on the Thakot–Raikot Road and, Zhob-Quetta road project and submit proposals in this regard to the cabinet by next week to move the projects to next level of development.

The committee was apprised of the growing interest of local and foreign investors in the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone. It pointed out that any delay in the finalisation of the developer would be detrimental to the project. The planning minister said he would take up this issue with Chief Minister Sindh.

The Board of Investment (BOI) representative informed the committee that the Board members’ list for Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FOEDMC) has been finalised and will soon be notified.

Utilities provision to Gwadar Port and Free Zone also came under discussion. The meeting was informed of prospective investments in LNG at Gwadar.

The chair directed Ministry of Petroleum to help facilitate investors and coordinate with relevant Ministry including Ministry of Maritime Affairs to resolve the investors issues on priority.