Chinese firm plans to build dams in Pakistan

BEIJING  - A consortium, led by China’s Three Gorges International Corporation, the world’s largest hydropower producer, plans to build both state-owned and private hydropower stations in Pakistan.
“We want to take an active part in the expected auction of the state-owned hydropower stations in the brotherly country,” said Corporation Executive Vice-president Wang Shaofeng on Thursday.
“There are several large hydropower projects in Pakistan, with a total installed capacity of around 3,000 megawatts,” Wang told China Daily in an interview.
“These could be our top choices for acquisition, but we will also consider acquiring small and newly built private hydropower projects,” said the senior executive, who had previously worked in Pakistan for more than a decade. The projects that the Corporation is working on in Pakistan are worth $9 billion. It has signed an agreement with Pakistan for a series of projects that could increase the figures to around $50 billion. The Chinese company chose Pakistan as the first stop of its overseas investment due to close ties between both the countries.
Wang said work on the 1,100-megawatt Kohala hydropower station was expected to start this year and would take six years to complete. The Chinese company also plans to set up a facility jointly with Dongfang Electric Corporation in Pakistan to support the local market as well as other neighbouring countries.
The company is also preparing to bid for a contract to build and operate an 8,000-megawatt power station in Brazil. When bidding starts for the hydroelectric dam on the Tapajos River, the Chinese consortium will be a strong contender. “We completed most of the projects through capital investment,” Wang said, adding, “The Tapajos Dam will become one of the world’s 10 largest hydropower projects after completion.”
The world’s largest hydropower producer has also set up a Hong Kong-based company named Hydro Global Investment Ltd with the Portuguese power company EDP - Energias de Portugal - as a platform to explore business opportunities in small and medium-sized hydropower projects in the region.
“When we are working on global projects, we are looking at long-term development and investment, so we are very careful in selecting the projects and executing them,” Wang said.
He disclosed the biggest challenge the company faced right now was dealing with the exchange rate fluctuations to prevent risks and increase profits in overseas countries.
“China itself has been embarking on an ambitious plan of dam building to combat air pollution,” the executive vice president said, adding, “The Three Gorges Power Plant, the world’s largest hydropower project, generated more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since its first turbine was connected to the grid in 2003.”
Experts say that China can leverage on its domestic experience to boost its export and drive the growth of equipment manufacturing industry.

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