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ISLAMABAD: M/s Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company (Private) Limited (PMTCL) has approached key authorities of the federal government for clearance of pending transmission service payment amounting to Rs 12 billion to fulfil its debt servicing and other financial obligations.

The Company’s CEO/President, Zhang Lei, in a letter to Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar, copies of which have also been sent SAPM on CPEC, Khalid Mansoor and other concerned authorities, raised the issue of non-payment of due amount.

Appreciating the authorities for extending support to the 660-KV HVDC project especially in regard to arranging payment of transmission service, the CEO of the company stated that up to now the company has received the Transmission Service Payment (TSP) for the month of September 2021 to November 2021, and 19.46% for December 2021.

However, in accordance with the Transmission Services Agreement (TSA), by beginning of March 2022, the company should receive the TSP from September 2021 to February 2022, along with payment for adjustment of indexation, and TSP for the pre-COD period which remains pending with the total amounting to Rs 21.1 billion. The payment received so far is Rs 8.75 billion, which is only 41.4% of the total billed amount.

Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Project: PMLTC-PPIB- NTDC agreement amended

According to the CEO, in accordance with the facility agreement between PMTCL and the lender (China Development Bank), the former is obliged to release loan principal and interest amounting to $ 72.2 million before April 15, 2022 without any delay. In addition, PMLTC also needs to meet other obligatory payments to maintain its operations of an amount of $ 44.2 million including but not limited to Sinosure fee, commercial insurance premium, operation & maintenance cost on timely manner.

“We need to stress again that the total amount of invoices we billed to NTDC is Rs 21.1 billion of which only Rs.8.75 billion has been paid to PMLTC so far,” he said adding that unpaid amount is Rs. 12.35 billion.

The company maintains that considering there will be at least three weeks needed to complete approval of foreign exchange conversion from SBP for making payment to the lender the company needs to receive the remaining amount no later than March 24, 2022, which means less than one month is left for making the payment. The daily payment of TSP must reach Rs 0.42 billion to avoid PMTCL from default under the Facility Agreement.

Lei further noted that the current daily payment the company is receiving ranges between only Rs. 0.05 to 0.15 billion.

Considering the difficulties, the company is facing, both Chinese Government and Chinese Embassy attach great importance to the payment issue of this CPEC flagship project.

“We humbly request highest attention to immediately tackle this issue with top priority, and instruct/coordinate with concerned parties on urgent basis to make substantial effort for increasing the daily payment amount day by day to avoid default of PMTCL’s obligations,” the CEO PMTCL said in his letter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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