The first meeting of Energy Planning Working Group of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held Tuesday which was co-chaired by Mr Zhang Yuqing, Vice Administrator of National Energy Administration (NEA) of China, Khawaja Asif, Minister for Water and Power, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning and Development, BoI Chairman Miftaha Ismail and senior officials.
Both the parties discussed the organisational framework, basic concepts, main items, work programme and enabling mechanism of the energy planning of CPEC. The ministry of water and power and China’s National Energy Administration agreed for fast-track implementation of the 21,690 MW power and related infrastructure projects under the CPEC.
It was agreed that both sides will jointly establish China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Energy Information Platform and provide timely, precise and complete data and information of the platform and also established energy planning expert group. China will provide 6 million dollars for operation of information platform. The ministry of water and power will ensure that data collection sharing should continue through the whole planning period from May 2014 to December 2014. It was agreed that 16 power projects including construction of transmission lines would be completed by 2017. It was also agreed that both would focus the study on power source and grid distribution, tariff mechanism, coal development and transportation, push forward the corridors energy infrastructure and interconnection and inter-working of power grids and establishment of major cooperation projects.
Khawaja Asif told the media men that the energy plan with China had been divided in three parts. In the first part, the projects of coal, wind, solar and hydel of about 7000MW will be initiated this year in September which would be completed in next three years. In the second part, the project would be completed in five years and in third phase the projects would be completed in seven years. He said the projects of 21690 mw would be undertaken with the assistance of China under the CPEC plan.
After the completion, the load shedding will end and become a history. He said circular debt would not end in just one year. They had to control power theft and line losses to end the circular debt issue. He said there was a proposal of federal adjuster to settle the billing matters with provinces which was still under process due to non-support of provinces.
Earlier in his opening address, the water and power minister said that China and Pakistan had cordial relations and China had always assisted Pakistan in difficult times. He said the CPEC would be a success story of the region and will further strengthen the Pak-China economic relations. He told that in future transmission lines would be developed on BOT basis.
The Chinese vice administrator of the NEA thanked both the ministers and said that China would extend all out support to Pakistan to end energy crises. He said China had already established energy working group for Pakistan. He agreed with the proposal of the minister for water and power regarding early completion of the mature projects to be completed in 2017.
Minister for Planning, Ahsan Iqbal also spoke on the occasion and said the Chinese interest in various sectors especially in the power sector showed that the darkness would soon come to end. He said Pakistan and China were agreed to work jointly in all the sectors like wind, coal, hydel and solar. He suggested that video conference on weekly basis to review the progress of the work. He said both sides should expedite the work on the projects which were on advance stage so that their groundbreaking may be performed during the visit of Chinese prime minister.