Govt plans to power Gwadar Port with Iranian electricity

The government has decided to start negotiations for importing 70 to 100 megawatt Iranian electricity to power up Gwadar Port, officials said on Thursday.

A decision to this effect was taken during a session of Cabinet Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCoCPEC), which met under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

Different options were considered during the meeting for the provision of electricity to the deep sea port as the 300 MW power plant under-construction in Gwadar would be completed by 2023 as it was delayed owing to various reasons.

A transmission line of 220 KV would also be constructed to connect with the national grid, the meeting was told.

For the time being, the meeting observed, the only available option was import of 70 to 100 MW power from Iran.

Tehran was earlier providing electricity to Balochistan but after witnessing decrease in its hydel production, it suspended it in the last couple of years.

The meeting instructed the Power Division to kick-start negotiations for buying 70 to 100 MW from Iran as currently the neighbouring country was enjoying a surplus.

When the local power plant would be completed over two to three years and 220 KV line also be installed the extra power would be provided to the national grid, according to the minutes of the meeting.

The meeting also discussed the options for the provision of clean drinking water that was another problematic area to be tackled.

The meeting could not take up land dispute between Pakistan Coast Guard and Pakistan Navy as land of 50 to 70 acres would be provided to a Chinese company for developing Gwadar Master Plan.

The sources privy to the matter said the relevant authorities were not available so this issue would be taken up in next meeting.

The verification of land record was underway in consultation with the Defense Ministry and this issue would be resolved, they added.

The Chinese company -responsible for developing Gwadar port, gave a presentation on the marketing plan for developing Gwadar Free Zone. Out of 2,500 acres of land, the Chinese company had the possession of 70 to 75 percent of the land. Pakistani authorities inquired how many international investors had so far shown their interest to relocate their industries into Gwadar Free Zone. Chinese company informed the CCoCPEC that meeting those different provisions such as electricity, clean drinking water and other infrastructure requirements would be essential to lure investment into Gwadar Free Economic Zone. Without basic facilities, the expectation of luring investors would remain just a pipe dream.

According to an official press statement issued after the meeting, the CCoCPEC meeting reviewed the progress on various projects under CPEC and the overall progress of CPEC in industrial cooperation, energy, infrastructure, and Gwadar Port Marketing Plan.

During the meeting Power Division submitted a summary containing proposals for the acceleration of the power supply to Gwadar. The CCoCPEC approved the summary and allowed NTDC to change its executing agency to expedite the work and ensure the project was completed by March 2023.

The Chairperson of the Committee also directed the concerned department that dedicated power supply to Gwadar Industrial Zone must be ensured.

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