Pakistan, China drop 5 CPEC energy projects

In-depth analysis reveals plans technically unfeasible, New projects to be included in list

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and China agreed to revise and update the list of CPEC Energy Cooperation Project, removing 5 pending projects with the combined capacity of 3470 Megawatt, it is learnt reliably here Thursday.

In February it was agreed between the Chinese and Pakistani experts to drop five projects, mostly coal power projects, from the CPEC energy list and finally in the recent One Road One Belt (OBOR) forum it was formally dropped from the list, official sources told The Nation.

The projects which were dropped includes Muzaffargarh Coal Power Project (1,320MW), Salt Range Mine Mouth Power Project (300MW) including mining, Gaddani Power Park (1,320MW), Sunnec Wind Farm (50MW), Chichoki Mallian Combined-cycle Power Plant (525MW). Sources said that these projects were analyzed in-depth by energy experts from both sides and it was decided to remove these projects by declaring them technically unfeasible.

However the source said that with the removal of these projects the CPEC installed capacity agreed under the previous energy agreement will remain unchanged. More projects are expected to be inducted soon based on feasibility and mutual agreement of experts from both sides.

The Punjab government was planning to construct two coal-fired projects with the combined generation capacity of 2,640MW in Rahim Yaar Khan and Muzaffargarh districts of Punjab. Both the projects are part of CPEC projects and Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) is the supervising agency. Similarly 525MW thermal power plant at Chichoki Mallian was first initiated in 2008 during the tenure of PPP government with the cost of $354.5 million, however it was never materialised. After the current government came into power it was included in the CPEC energy project list.

In the progress review meeting of the CPEC projects, held in February, the Punjab government was pursing the federal government to include the coal projects in the CPEC umbrella projects. The main logic presented by the Punjab government is that India’s share of energy from coal amounts to 70,000MW and Europe generates 60 percent of its energy using coal, and 65 percent electricity generated in the world is generated from coal. The source said that adding unfeasible projects to the CPEC list will affect the financial health of the country. The updated list of the projects is now available on the CPEC website.

When asked that how the capacity of CPEC projects will not affect from the decision, the source said new projects will be added to the portfolio and majority of them will be on Hydro electric generations. The Pakistani and Chinese authorities in the last JCC held in China agreed to include hydro power projects, in the northern Indus region, in the CPEC umbrella projects. Hydle is much cleaner and cheaper source of energy and an MOU to evaluate the feasibility of these projects has already been signed between the two countries.


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