ISLAMABAD -  The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project of Karot Hydropower Station is expected to be completed by early 2020, around nine months ahead of its completion date of December 2021, official sources said.

Roughly 25 percent civil works of the project with installed capacity of 720MW has already been completed and work on the remaining parts of the project is underway. According to sources in the planning ministry, the project is being constructed at river Jehlum with an estimated cost of $1,420 million. Financial close of the project was achieved in February 2017 while land acquisition award has also been done.

Similarly, work for the construction of access roads, bridges, concrete batching plant, diversion tunnel and spillway is in process, the sources added. The Karot Hydropower Project is a 720MW run-of-river project to be built on the Jhelum river, and is being developed by Karot Power Company (KPCL), a special purpose vehicle in which China Three Gorges South Asia Investment (CSAIL) also holds a shares.

The project will have a reservoir storage capacity of 164.5 million and is expected to create employment for 3,500 people, approximately 85 percent comprising local citizens. The Karot Hydropower Project will help to improve the dependability of the energy supply in the region by providing up to 3,436 GWH of electricity per annum, the sources added.

Moreover, the project would also help the government to produce affordable, reliable, and clean energy for a longer period as all the energy generation methods are costly, whereas with Karot Hydropower Project; electricity will be generated at lower costs in comparison with other power generation technologies.

"In today's age when Wind and Solar power generation technologies are still unable to produce cost effective energy, hydro power is still the most cost effective and suitable power generation technology available," the source said. With the passage of time power generation costs will be reduced and ultimately, consumers will benefit from this lower cost and more affordable electricity, he added.