No loan taken from China for 10,400 MW power projects: Asif

ISLAMABAD: While scathingly rejecting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf allegation, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Friday said that no loan was taken from China for various power projects of 10,400 MW adding the Chinese companies were making $ 14 billion direct foreign investment in power sector.

Addressing a press conference here, the minister said that Chinese Banks would provide loans to the executing companies of these power projects and Pakistan would only pay tariff to the companies for 20-25 years as per the agreements.

He said that the current sits-in was a conspiracy to stop materializing of 10,400 MW power projects of cheap electricity in the country.

However, he expressed the hope that agreements would be signed next month and a delegation would visit China for this purpose next week.

The Minister said the projects to be executed with Chinese assistance included hydel, wind and coal  and it would help generate cheap electricity besides overcoming energy shortage in the country.

Giving the details, Asif said that these projects include, two hydel (1600-1700 MW), four wind, coal projects at Port Qasim, Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, Gwadar, Rahim Yar Khan and 1000 MW Quaid Azam solar park.

The Minister said that National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has rejected the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf with regard to tariff.

He said PTI leader Asad Umar provided wrong figures and facts and his petition was rejected on solid grounds.

He said a lobby created hurdles in the government’s efforts to shift power generation projects from expensive furnace oil to coal for  cheap electricity.

Asif said the sits-in caused billions of loss to the country’s economy and these (sits-in) were for just political motives.

He said Chinese President schedule visit to Pakistan has to postpone due to situation created by the protesting parties.

He said that new projects were being set up near power load centres to minimize line losses.

To a question, he said that return investment rate on Thar Coal project was revised during past government tenure. However, he stressed the need for continuity of economic policies for progress the development of the country.

The Minister said that various power generation projects were at various stages of completion which would help overcome power shortage in the country.

To a query, Khawaja Asif said no increase in power tariff has made since October last year.

Replying to another question, the Minister three private audit institutions were hired to investigate the inflated electricity bills issue.

He said the Cabinet has also decided to make audit of Nandipur Power Project.

He said the government was giving hundred percent subsidy on electricity being generated through oil.

To a question, the minister said that a treatment plant at Nandipur power project would be functional by December.

Gas supply would also be provided to the plant by next year which would further reduce the generation cost, he said.

Source: APP