Following up on CPEC mega investment, China is going to bring life to Pakistan’s struggling energy sector. In Memorandum of Understanding signed on Saturday between Pakistan and China both are agreed upon $50 billion investment from China for developing North Indus River Cascade with can generate 40,000 MW of power.
China to invest $50bn for mega dams in Pakistan
MoU was signed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China. To add this to existing CPEC investment $62 billion which brings up to total $112 billion. After this investment China has become the biggest investor in infrastructure projects in Pakistan.
Potential to Produce 60,000 MW
Studies conducted by WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) suggest that Pakistan has potential to generate 60,000 Mega Watts of power through hydroelectric power plants.
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40,000 Mega Watts of potential power could be produced from Indus River Cascade which begins from Skardu and runs throughout the Khyber Pakhtun Khaw all the way to Terbela Dam.
Bhasha Dam Project Out of Limbo?
One of the projects in the Indus River Cascade is the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project, which needs a $15 billion investment. The Bhasha dam project didn’t have any takers until China came along.
Another project in Indus River Cascade is Diamer-Bhasha Dam and $15 billion investment is required for this project to be completed. China conducted surveys and studies on North Indus River Cascade at various sites which include Pattan, Thacoast, Dasu, Bunji and Diamer in Feb this year.
Beijing decided in a high-level meeting to conduct a detailed study over 3 months to develop a financing roadmap including details about the start and end of the project.
This will be the first private sector investment in hydel mega projects, WAPDA has led these projects until now.
The Biggest Dam Maker
Back in 2015, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) said that they were ready to participate in a financing consortium to invest $50 billion in Pakistan’s hydel power projects. CTGC is owned by the Chinese government. It has built the Three Gorges Dam, which houses the world’s biggest hydroelectric power plant with a capacity of 22,500MW.
This is a mere 1,000 MW less than the total installed power capacity of Pakistan at 23,500MW.