Suki Kinari Hydropower, as one of the biggest private-sector hydropower developments in Pakistan and one of the highest priority early harvest projects within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is expected to be put into operation in 2022.
Suki Kinari Hydro Private Limited (SK Hydro), in which China Gezhouba Group holds a majority stake of 98%, is developing the project with an estimated investment of $1.96bn. “I have witnessed the joint efforts of the Chinese and Pakistani employees in Suki Kinari Hydro Private Limited (SK Hydro). Relevant government departments of the two sides have forged ahead with strong cooperation. I think the project is an accurate portrayal of the joint Belt and Road construction, also the best witness of the historical friendship between China and Pakistan.” said Danish Haseeb Khan, deputy general manager of SK Hydro.
The Chinese and Pakistani teams of SK Hydro have been working together on this project since 2015. In the process of pushing the financial close, they encountered many difficulties. Danish told China Economic Herald that when the Pakistani team completed the land acquisition and registration documents, it was very close to the deadline required by the government for the financial close. “Chinese lending institutions could only make the loan after the successful registration of our Pakistani team, so I was very worried at the time that the process could not be completed before the financing was closed. However, I was amazed by the ‘Chinese speed’ of our Chinese team and relevant lenders who worked tirelessly to follow up all the procedures promptly to achieve the financial close on time.” said Danish.
The SK Hydro has been adhering to its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the local residents throughout the construction period of the project. The CPEC is not only about construction projects, but also for the well-being of the people in the areas where those projects are located, Danish said that he always remembered those words from one of his Chinese colleagues. The year 2020 has been a most extraordinary one. In the trying times of the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, the Chinese and Pakistani people reached out to each other. In Pakistan, the raging pandemic has led to the closure of schools and businesses. In order to ensure the smooth construction of the project, SK Hydro has worked hard to overcome numerous difficulties including communication and traffic control.
“Despite the difficulties, we still hold in our hearts the interests and concerns of local residents. In March 2020, we distributed food, masks, protective clothing, etc. to needy families in the areas where the hydropower stations are located to help them overcome difficulties. In November 2020, we carried out an activity themed ‘Caring for the Flower of Chin-Pakistan Friendship’, providing over 100 students from 10 schools stationery and warm clothes,” Danish said.