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ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission has arranged an online meeting of potential buyers interested in the privatisation of two RLNG power plants owned by the National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL) with the stakeholders to address their serious concerns related to the power sector.

The meeting was held in the Ministry of Privatization under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister/Chairman, Privatization Mohammedmian Soomro.

State Minister for Power, Shehzad Qasim, Special advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Baber, Secretary Privatization, Secretary Power Division, Managing Director PPIB, Joint Secretary Finance, senior officials from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), and privatization officials attended the meeting.

In a statement, the Ministry of Privatisation says that the agenda of this crucial meeting was to interact with potential power sector investors and address their queries regarding future debt financing, timeline extension, and sectoral issues involved in the power sector.

The privatization of the NPPMCL had attracted unprecedented interest and 12 out of total 23 parties were pre-qualified for bidding, which was previously scheduled to take place in mid-April this year, but due to pandemic and international travel advisory restrictions the timeline was modified accordingly.

The high-profile local and international potential investors include Qatar Investment Authority, the EDRA, the GPSC, Jera and Kapco, Atlas Power, Asma Capital, Nebras Power among others have shown interest in the said transaction.

Federal Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said that that the privatisation of the NPPMCL would not be affected by any perceived sectoral issues emanating from recent developments.

Nadeem Baber and Shehzad Qasim explained future government policies and power sector reforms.

The issues, which were discussed related to Independent Power Producers, tariff matters, reduction of circular debts, improved power efficiency, reduction in power cost, raising financing and its cost, and ongoing energy plan.

The federal minister said that without addressing the concerns of the investors we could not retain investors' interest and appetite.

In the meeting, the investment opportunities were highlighted.

The privatization minister also suggested that a more comprehensive meeting with representative from international and local lenders should be arranged with the buyers, so that matters relating to debt servicing and others for the plants could be explained.

The federal minister assured the investors that their remaining concerns would be addressed in an amicable manner, and asked the concerned transaction officials and financial advisors to interact with line ministries/divisions for early provision of relevant information and solution to the potential buyers.

The team of investors appreciated the Ministry of Privatization for all out assistance, and also requested for the extension in timeline as the site visit could not be undertaken due to the Covid-19 and travel restrictions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020