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Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower project: Chinese team briefs Zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the Government will offer incentives to the builders and constructors who complete their projects ahead of the scheduled completion time. This he said during his meetings with Vice Chairman of China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) Nie Kai and with Senior Vice President of China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) Wang Shaofang who separately called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday.

China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) that has built and operating the World's largest hydropower project-the Three Gorges Hydropower Station-evinced interest in building large dams with power houses including Kohala, Bahsha and Bunji on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

All these projects are estimated to produce 14,000MW power. It also offered to provide complete financing for building the projects without Government of Pakistan financial equity and informed the President that they have been pursuing their plans with various Government department for past over one year.

Secretary Water & Power informed that the Government has approved setting up a ministerial committee to examine all such BOT proposals for building dams and hydro projects in the country. The President advised that the proposals be expeditiously examined so that the work on hydro projects is started without any delay to meet the country's energy needs.

The President said that being short of energy Pakistan was stepping up search for out of box, imaginative and bold solutions to meet the country's energy needs by all available modes. He said that Pakistan offers promising opportunities for massive investment in new sources of energy in Pakistan particularly, in the development of wind, solar and hydro energy. He said that the hydro potential of the country needed to be fully exploited and there were tremendous opportunities for the foreign investors especially the Chinese to step forward and invest in this sector for the mutual interest.

Nie Kai briefed the President about the progress made by their company on the Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower project and thanked the Government for facilitating them in their professional pursuits. The President said that the Government was attaching great priority towards early completion of hydropower projects especially the Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower project not only to meet the energy requirements but also to provide cheap electricity to the people. He said that all the relevant departments have been advised to accord priority in removing all that obstacles that might hinder the progress.

Chairman Wapda informed that early completion of hydro projects like Neelum-Jehlum would make available 5 billion units of power in one year that would step up economic and industrial activity in the country. The President also urged the Chinese companies to consider participating in other mega projects of the country namely the Zulfiqarabad city project and the desiltation of Tarbela Dam.

The meetings were attended by M Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Khalil Ahmed, ambassador-at-large, Kamal Majidullah, SAPM, Shakeel Durrani, Chairman Wapda and other senior officials besides representatives of the Chinese companies.-PR

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