Govt pursuing early completion of CPEC projects: energy minister

Web DeskWeb Editor

25th Jun, 2021. 05:31 pm

KARACHI: The government is actively pursuing early completion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, a government official said on Friday.

Addressing the participants of a virtual inauguration ceremony of the high-power testing of 660kV Matiari-Lahore high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line project, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said that CPEC was of utmost importance for Pakistan, as it would enable the country to enhance industrial production, upgrade energy and communication infrastructure and improve connectivity within the region.

The CPEC projects have generated a large number of employment and investment opportunities in Pakistan and beyond, he said, adding that the government was committed to providing basic necessities to the masses through its power projects, he said.

Hammad praised the performance of the government during the last three years, and said it has attained various projects on different fronts. The government has also worked for the improvement in the electricity transmission system in the country and a record 24,633MW was transmitted in the current month through its national power system.

The minister appreciated the hard work of the management of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company Limited (PMLTC) and the State Grid Corporation of China for making the project a huge success.

The 660kV HVDC transmission line was a new technology in the country’s current AC transmission infrastructure. The transmission line would evacuate power from the power plants located in Sindh to the North load centres; thus, bringing stability in the power system and enhancing the transmission capability to overcome the power crisis in Pakistan.
The energy minister said the project continued, despite the pandemic and was successfully completed, resulting in relief to the consumers.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong congratulated the NTDC and the State Grid Corporation of China for the successful completion of the high-power test for Matiari-Lahore HVDC project.

“Matiari-Lahore HVDC project is the only power transmission project in the CPEC priority list, as well as the first HVDC transmission project in Pakistan, devoting itself to address the bottleneck of electricity transmission from South to North and upgrading the layout of Pakistan’s national grid,” he added.

Over 1,300 Chinese engineers and technicians along with 6,500 Pakistani workers overcame the impact of the pandemic and intensively worked together, the Chinese envoy said, adding that they successfully implemented the low- and high-power tests, and smoothly made it into the new phase of high-power trial run operations, despite the difficulties and obstacles.

The CPEC projects have so far attained $25.4 billion investment in Pakistan, which increases for Pakistan as much as 5,200MW of installed power generation capacity, 886,000 metres of national power transmission line, 510km of highway, and creation of 75,000 jobs in the construction sector.

“Due to its tremendous contributions to Pakistan’s economic and social development, CPEC gains widespread praises from the whole society of Pakistan and attracts extensive attention from [the] international community, as well,” Rong said.

At present, CPEC moved up to the new phase of high quality development, focusing on industry, agriculture and livelihood cooperation, he said, adding: “As we know, stable power supply is the foundation of industrialisation and industrial cooperation. For that purpose, the project, under the strong guidance and leadership of China National Energy Administration and State Grid, is supposed to be well operated and maintained, functioning as the main artery to transmit the power from South to North, and be gradually adapted to localization,” he said.

The Chinese envoy expressed the hope the Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company could make further study with the Pakistani counterpart on how to deepen and expand the power transmission cooperation in meeting the demand of the local economy and community, making more contribution to the high quality development of CPEC.

NTDC Managing Director Muhammad Ayub said that low testing of the transmission line had already been conducted during which 800MW and 2,200MW was successfully transmitted. It was a great achievement for both China and Pakistan and the project would bring stability in the transmission system, he added.

The commercial date of operation of the project was September 1, 2021, he said, adding that the total length of the transmission line was 886km with the transmission capacity of 4,400MW.

Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company CEO Wang Bo and others also spoke on the occasion.

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