PPIB to Review Progress of Azad Pattan Hydropower Project Tomorrow


The Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) is set to convene a meeting tomorrow to assess the status of the Azad Pattan Hydropower Project, a 770.7 MW venture located on the River Jhelum, jointly developed by a Chinese company.

The project, spearheaded by Azad Pattan Power Pvt Limited (APPL), a subsidiary of China Gezhouba Group, has faced delays, prompting the PPIB to scrutinize its progress. According to the Managing Director of PPIB, concerns have been raised regarding the stagnant advancement of the project, necessitating a thorough review of the issues, bottlenecks, and potential pathways forward by stakeholders.

In correspondence dated December 2023, APPL’s CEO, Wang Xiaoming, highlighted the company’s requests for fee waivers concerning extensions in Financial Close (FC) dates, citing the strategic importance of the project. The company underscored the project’s alignment with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, as well as its classification as a strategic project under Pakistan’s national policies, emphasizing its significance for water and energy security.

The Azad Pattan Hydropower Project, positioned on the River Jhelum at the boundary between AJ&K and Punjab, is integral to Pakistan’s energy landscape. It forms a crucial component of the NEPRA-approved Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) 2021-30 and plays a vital role in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor program.

Despite initial challenges, including issues with insurance coverage from Sinosure, a Chinese insurance company, owing to Pakistan’s power circular debt, the project has persisted with the support of high-level government interactions.

As the PPIB conducts its review, stakeholders anticipate constructive dialogue to address hurdles and propel the Azad Pattan Hydropower Project towards successful completion, aligning with Pakistan’s energy objectives and strategic priorities.

Story by Mushtaq Ghumman

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