Gwadar Needs Urgent Power Supply

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Gwadar is seeking urgent arrangements for power supply to ensure robust economic growth, business ecosystem and logistic activities at Gwadar Port as well as in the Gwadar region.

The demand for early supply of electricity was made at the Pakistan Energy Development Conference 2022 held at the China Business Centre at Gwadar Port.

China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) Chairman Zhang Baozhong said “with regards to development, there are some issues to be solved and power remains the foremost one. We cannot develop until enough electricity is available.”

“At COPHC, we produce electricity by generators, which is very expensive. Chinese investors are keen to shift their industries from China to Pakistan. Areas of investment are very diverse and include but not limited to refinery, assembly, petrochemical, and textile. However, without power, the shift might not be possible,” he said.

“I have been here for seven years and since then the provision of power remains my prime request to the government. The government has a plan to initiate a 300MW power project. But that is yet to materialise. I am happy to see this conference discussing energy issues. I hope the power issue will be resolved by the government soon,” he added.

“We have the capacity to generate power on a large scale but only if the government is ready to purchase. But that is yet to be reviewed due to the lack of consumer demand in Gwadar due to a low population density.”

He recalled that in the past seven years of his stay in Gwadar, a lot has been achieved. He witnessed close cooperation with the local community.

“Our brotherly security forces have coordinated with us a lot. Because of their sincere efforts, I have been comfortable with the existing environment,” he acclaimed.

“Before I set foot on Gwadar, I was very depressed. There used to be no proper residence for Chinese people and we used to stay at PC hotel. Business activities were very limited. There were no significant movements. Nevertheless, now Gwadar has become famous and business activities have gained pace,” he clarified.

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In his address, he said “we spent $15 million to purchase five new cranes, replacing old ones, in order to refurbish infrastructure at the port. LPG vessel being offloaded today and a container vessel to arrive on Friday are testaments to the accelerated port activities. These signals prognosticate good news for the future. However, more needs to be done. Energy issues remain the most prominent.”

On a query, he said that so far they have invested more than $300 million in Gwadar Port and Free Zone. Important mega projects such as New International Airport, East Bay Expressway, Pakistan China Vocational Training Institute, China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital, and 1.2 MGD plant are some of the grants from the people of China for the local brothers of Gwadar.

“On May 17, around 14 Chinese investors are coming to Gwadar to assess the investment potential of Gwadar and Balochistan. In addition to the Chinese, last year we received more than 17 ambassadors from the US, Canada, and countries of the European Union. Undoubtedly, energy provision stays as a prerequisite. Without energy, no development can be achieved.”

He underlined that there is strong intention from Chinese investors to invest $5 million to set up an oil refinery in Gwadar. Once the plan materialises, job opportunities can be offered to the locals in addition to the induction of business activities.

Other sectors such as lubricants and agriculture are also under consideration. “During my stay in China, I have discussed the matter of meat export from Pakistan to the Chinese market and the government is willing to consider,” he concluded.

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