Karot Hydropower Project

IQBAL KHAN-A sun sets every evening to rise again after Azan-e-Sehri, but the sun of Pakistan-China friendship never sets. The friendship between Pakistan and China cannot fall because it is unique and incomparable. Pakistan and China will maintain their natural friendship till doomsday and neither country will avoid paying a heavy price for it. Pakistan and China do not just share a border, but their hearts also meet and beat together. The Silk Road, which has been in use for decades between Pakistan and China, is a symbol of deep respect and friendship, modesty, patience, tolerance and trade activities in the region. If we turn the pages of history, many secrets will be revealed. Nature has made the 415 km long Silk Road a road map for trade and tourism for almost two thousand years. It will not be out of place to call this highway a sustainable bridge between the Chinese people and the people of Pakistan. The services of Chairman Great Mr. Mao, the architect of civilized China and tireless Chinese talents cannot be forgotten in building the Silk Road in a modern way. The alert and fearless “Chinese” leadership does not care about the “criticism” and “anxiety” of its enemies, including Washington and Delhi, but remains engrossed in its tunes for its economic goals. Silk Road (Shahraah-E-Resham) is actually “Shah Rah” meaning “King of highways”, many emperors have passed through this highway. The Silk Road is not just a highway but a beautiful masterpiece of nature and the eighth wonder of the world. It is not soft and delicate like its name, but passing through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it connects and unites two deeply friendly countries. The construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative has been carried out on the golden principles of large-scale consultation, joint partnership and protection of common interests. Through this, the torch of sustainable development that has been lit today will benefit the future generations and crops of both countries. Its construction will make trade more profitable and provide employment to countless skilled workers.
Adhering to the philosophy of being committed to its social responsibilities and selfless dedication to global betterment, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) is dedicated to building a close community of bright future jointly with Pakistan in the new era, based on Pakistan’s development needs. Certainly, no effort will be spared to meet the expectations of the people of Pakistan. Both Pakistan and China are determined and enthusiastic to work together with the intention of sharing common interests and making themselves more prosperous. In January 2016, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Karot Hydropower Project was held in Pakistan. In February 2017, the project completed its financing closure, setting a record for the fastest financing closure in Pakistan’s hydropower industry. The closure of the river was completed in September 2018, marking the entry into the comprehensive construction phase. On November 20, 2021, water storage was started when the sluice gate was closed. On March 29, 2022, the rotor hoisting of all four units was completed. On May 12, 2022, units 1 and 2 were officially connected to the grid for power generation. This project started work on 29 June 2022. The Karot Hydropower Project is the fourth of the five cascade HPPs to be developed along the Jhelum River.
The installed capacity of the project is 720MW with an average annual power generation of 3206 GWh and annual usage hours of 4452h. As a single power generation task hydropower complex, the project’s structural configuration includes rock fill dam, spillway, powerhouse, diversion tunnel, head race power tunnel and tail race tunnel. The project has been developed under the Power Policy 2002 on Own Build, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) basis with a construction period of five years and a grace period of thirty years. The 720 MW Hydropower Project has been listed as one of the priority projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The project is located on the Jhelum River in District Rawalpindi and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is operated on a river type project with a total head of 79m. A maximum of four Francis turbine units are installed. The feasibility study of the project was approved on October 7, 2009. Karot Hydropower Station is located on the Jhelum, a tributary of the Indus River in the northern part of Pakistan. It is the first large-scale hydropower investment and construction project of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, which is the first hydropower investment project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It is also the first hydropower project to be invested by the Silk Road Fund after its inception. The production capacity of the project is 720 MW.
It is developed on BOOT (build-own-operate-transfer) model with modern hydropower technology. It has emerged as the largest private sector hydropower project in Pakistan and provides more than 3.2 billion KWh of clean energy to the people of Pakistan every year. It aims to increase the share of clean energy in Pakistan, improve energy infrastructure, overcome the shortage of electricity in Pakistan, promote Pakistani economic and social development, and improve the lives and welfare of citizens and global carbon neutrality. It also plays an important role in achieving the goal. The total investment in the project is USD 1.74 billion. Average annual electricity generation is over 3.2 billion KWh. It can guarantee electricity supply for five million people. The capacity of the project is 720 MW. It will also provide more than 4,500 decent jobs for Pakistan every year directly or indirectly. By the end of 2021, China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Limited (CSAIL), an investment holding company created by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), has provided a total of nearly 6,000 jobs to Pakistan. It is welcome for economic and social development.
The company has joined hands with Pakistanis to help each other in the face of the growing pandemic, which has been closely related to the public. The friendship between China and Pakistan is higher and more enduring than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans. The joint development process of Pakistan and China is sweeter than honey and is contributing to building a common future community in Asia. Despite the changing international conditions, CTG continues to pursue the path of openness and win-win cooperation. It is jointly developing a cooperation platform with Pakistan to share the fruits of cooperation. So that sustainable achievements can be achieved in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. Pakistanis can be benefited as much as possible. Remember that the wind does not always blow in the direction the sailor wants. Only through concerted and united effort can the people move towards a better future. Such valuable projects to overcome the power shortfall can transform the economic and social status of the region while having positive and lasting effects on the economy as well as the society. Pakistan and China still have a lot to surprise the world.
Muhammad Nasir Iqbal Khan is a freelance writer and can be reached at kaonain1@gmail.com.

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