China-built hydro project in Pakistan achieves dam capping amid steady CPEC progress
Published: May 16, 2023 10:48 PM
Photo: A screenshot from the official Wechat account of the China Gezhouba Group Co

Photo: A screenshot from the official Wechat account of the China Gezhouba Group Co

Pakistan's Suki Kinari Hydropower project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) achieved dam capping on Monday, as China and Pakistan vowed to jointly accelerate the construction of the CPEC as this year is its 10th anniversary.

The capping of the concrete dam on the Kunhar River marks the substantial completion of the main structure of the dam and will advance the construction progress of the power station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, said the China Gezhouba Group Co, which is investing in and implementing the project.

As one of the first batch of priority projects under the CPEC, the facility is the largest overseas greenfield hydropower project financed by a Chinese company so far.

With total investment of about $1.96 billion, the project will generate some 3.21 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, significantly optimizing Pakistan's energy structure and effectively easing its energy shortages, Gezhouba said in a press release.

The Thar Coal Block-I Coal Electricity Integration project was recently inaugurated by Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif after it was officially put into commercial operation in early February. It can meet the electricity demand of 4 million households in Pakistan, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

These achievements reflect that the construction of the CPEC has made steady progress over the past year, as the Pakistani side hopes to boost the project so as to bring greater socio-economic benefits to the South Asian country, Zhou Rong, a senior researcher at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

During his visit to Pakistan on May 5-6, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that China stands ready to work with Pakistan to promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), accelerate the CPEC construction, deepen cooperation in fields such as industry, agriculture and information technology, and help Pakistan restore its economy and improve people's livelihoods, according to Xinhua.

In order to promote the high-quality development of the CPEC, the two sides should expand cooperation to emerging sectors such as new energy and information technology, Zhou said. He said the Pakistani side should safeguard domestic security, ensure smooth industry and supply chains and nurture a high-quality labor force for better cooperation with China.

Recently, a seminar on China-Pakistan science and technology cooperation was held by the Zhongguancun Belt and Road Industry Promotion Association and the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing, domestic news site reported.

Zhang Xiaodong, head of the association, said it will prepare a cooperation plan for China-Pakistan science and technology enterprises, dock the development needs of artificial intelligence, big data and other areas and prompt Chinese technology enterprises to develop in Pakistan.

Global Times