Pakistan and China in talks over hydropower project
BEIJING: Pakistan and China will hold talks in Lahore on Thursday for the construction of 960-MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project worth about $1.1 billion.
Chinese companies have agreed to provide a soft-term credit as well as technical help for this purpose.
A delegation left here on Monday to hold talks. The delegation includes representatives from the China National Water Resources Hydropower Engineering Corporation and the China New Technic group.
During the visit, the two sides are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding. The funding will be about $670 million to be provided by the Chinese companies. The project will be constructed at a site, about 20km from Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir.
During its meetings with senior WAPDA officials, the delegation will discuss technical details and financing options. A Chinese state-owned power construction company recently agreed to finance the project through equity and also make available credit from Chinese banks.
Early this year, WAPDA had offered to make available Rs 15 billion out of its own resources and wanted the government to arrange a similar amount from external resources to start the project within the current fiscal year.
The project is expected to be completed within 6 to 7 years. The other projects the Chinese have agreed to fund include the Jinnah hydropower project of 96 megawatts worth $128 million to be built on the Indus River near Kalabagh, the Golan Gol hydropower of 106 megawatts worth $139 million located in Chitral and the Keyal Khwar Hydro-power of 130 megawatts worth $129 million in NWFP. —APP