CPEC energy projects help reduce power shortage in Pak
Editor's note: The writer is the founder of Friends of BRI Forum. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif paid an important visit to the Karot Hydropower project, which is currently progressing in full swing. The visit came in the backdrop of rising energy shortage across Pakistan and Pakistan’s seeking updates on the early completion of essential projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The project is the first hydropower project under CPEC with a 729 MW energy production capacity, being developed by the consortium of China's most extensive renewable energy companies. Once completed, the project would help Pakistan produce cheap electricity and help promote a green, clean and sustainable future.
With its completion, the project will generate 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, meeting the power needs of 5 million people in the country. This will eventually reduce power shortage and increase economic growth for the country. The project will reduce 3.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually and save around 1.4 million tons of standard coal equivalent each year.
Energy has remained the core focus of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) since its beginning as China and Pakistan mutually decided to overcome the acute energy shortfall for Pakistan. CPEC is making ways for Pakistan to achieve its sustainable energy needs, especially to build its renewable energy power generation capacity from the current 4 percent to 30 percent in 2030. The energy cooperation on CPEC is ongoing between China and Pakistan. Overall, there are 21 energy projects under this fate-changing project initiative between both countries. Among these, 11 have been completed, and the rest are in the process of completion and are at different stages of development progress.
When the initial development commenced on CPEC’s energy project, the power production capacity of Pakistan was no more than 20,000 MW, with two-thirds contribution from oil and hydro-based plants. The sources of power production had to be diversified through quick interventions such as coal and gas, to begin with, adding 6900 MW to the national grid.
CPEC has contributed immensely to the power production in Pakistan and enabled the industrialization and manufacturing in Pakistan. The next round of power generation 2019-2022 was planned to inject a high amount of energy, 20,380 MW, into the system, including hydro energy of 9000 MW. Another phase of power generation in the pipeline expected to end by 2023 projected the production potential up to 53504 MW.
Respecting the mutual vision of clean energy, China and Pakistan are also planning to cooperate on small clean energy projects such as wind, solar, and hydropower plants covering 400 MW, 100 MW, and 3400 MW, respectively, by 2027.
China has always been very conscious of Pakistani energy requirements and has always supported Pakistan in offering clean and cheap energy projects. With solid cooperation under CPEC, the day is not far when Pakistan's energy crisis will be resolved.