PPIB processing Pakistan’s largest chunk of energy chapter under CPEC, high-level meeting told

Islamabad: Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) is processing the largest chunk of Pakistan’s energy chapter under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) out of which four projects of 4620 MW had already been completed, a high-level meeting was told.

The meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar at the PPIB headquarters, was informed that the remaining nine projects of more than 7000 Megawatts were at different stages of processing, majority of which were under construction or about to enter construction activities as part of the CPEC.

“For generating eco–friendly and cheap electricity, two large size hydropower IPPs namely 720 MW Karot and 884 MW Suki Kinari are at advance stages of construction work which are likely to be completed during December 2021 and December 2022 respectively,” said an official statement issued after the meeting.

It said Pakistan’s largest private sector hydropower project namely 1124 MW Kohala alongwith 700 MW Azad Pattan were under advance stages of achieving Financial Closing. Recently both these Indepdnetn Power Producers (IPPs) had successfully executed project agreements which are amongst one of the pre-requisites for achieving Financial Close.

Development of hydropower projects would bring several indirect benefits which include but not limited to creation of employment opportunities, development of allied infrastructure and industry, boosting agriculture industry through smooth supply of electricity and water, flourishing tourism activities in the area, initiation of community welfare programs under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which include opening of schools, vocational training institutions, hospitals/dispensaries, said the statement.

Pakistan’s first private sector Matiari-Lahore HDVC Transmission Line project which is also a hallmark project of PPIB is being processed under the framework of CPEC and set to be functional by September 2021, it added.

This was Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar’s first visit to PPIB after assuming charge of the Ministry where he was briefed by PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza alongwith other senior officials.

The minister was briefed that PPIB was the pioneer institution of the Government of Pakistan for successfully inducting private capital in power sector of Pakistan and one of the key players of the power sector.

PPIB has captured various success stories in successive rounds of power policies announced from time to time. As a result, since its inception PPIB has materialized 40 IPPs of more than 17550 MW in the country worth around US$ 20 billion. These IPPs are based on multiple fuels/technologies, Mirza said.

It was briefed that to promote indigenous resources, for the very first time in the energy history of the country hydro and Thar coal based IPPs were being established.

In this regard, the statement said, PPIB has already been instrumental in achieving historical breakthrough in the energy history of Pakistan whereby the country’s coal reserves at Thar are being developed having coal mining and power generation projects of which 660 MW Engro Power Project has already been completed and supplying electricity to the national grid while another three projects of 1320 MW are under construction.

While highlighting future plans, the MD PPIB said that PPIB was handling a diversified portfolio of 22 IPPs of more than 12000 out of which fourteen projects of 6175 MW are hydropower projects while six IPPs of 4290 MW are based on Thar coal.

The Minister was told that PPIB was targeting to complete seven projects of more than 5500 MW till the end of next year inspite of COVID-19 situation worldwide, which can hamper the process.

These include two hydropower IPPs of more than 1600 MW, four Thar coal based IPPs of 2640 MW and one RLNG based project of 1263 MW, the statement said.

It said the PPIB was according equal importance to induct more private capital in transmission line sector for which extensive efforts are being made.

As envisioned by the government under ease of doing business initiative, work on the merger of the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) into the PPIB was in full swing for processing power projects of all technologies including alternative and renewable energy projects at one door step, added the statement.

The minister expressed his gratitude over thorough briefing extended by MD PPIB and lauded the efforts of PPIB for its past achievements and the current efforts being made for developing the power sector.

He assured his full support and guidance to PPIB and urged it to work more diligently and keep providing expert facilitation to the investors so that they are able to invest in this sector more confidently.