ISLAMABAD: Federal Minster for Investment Chaudhry Salik Hussain has expressed his annoyance at National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for not cooperating with a South Korean company which intends to establish 47-MW hydel power plant in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a letter to Chairman Nepra Tauseef H Farooqi, Hussain contended that he is writing to convey the deep concerns of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) Ltd, a South Korean company and subsidiary of the Korea Electric Power Corporation, on the current state of its hydro power project in Pakistan, i.e., Lower Spat Gah (LSG) of 470-MW located at Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) is a State Owned Company of South Korea which owns and maintains 80,000-MW generation capacities worldwide with an asset base of around $ 170 billion.
Besides, Korea South East Power Company (KOEN) is also a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation which began investing in Pakistan back in 2013 and successfully delivered 102-MW Gulpur Hydropower project, recently.
As per details of the project, the company entered into public private mode with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and fulfilled its commitment by updating the feasibility study and applying for a Generation Licence and tariff petition to Nepra. However, their applications were returned by Nepra due to non-inclusion of the project in the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP: 2022-3 1). The decision has not only shaken the confidence of the company for further investments but also resulted in the suspension of all investment negotiations with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) including hiring of local recourses.
Apart from construction of hydro power plants, the company also planned civil construction work to improve the local infrastructure including establishment of healthcare facilities and education support for the local community at remote area of Kohistan, Pakistan. The planned green-field investments in clean energy are not only indispensable for adding to the national-grid but will also decrease the country’s dependency on imported fuel.
In view of existing scenario, Board of Investment being the apex agency of Government of Pakistan for facilitation of foreign investments requested for facilitation to the company on priority basis and extend due consideration into the genuine issues purely on its merits, so that the confidence of Korean investors be restored without hampering bilateral investment relations.
Another Korean company, Korea Southeast Power Co., Ltd. (KOEN), a South Korean power sector company has expressed its reservations against government entities, including National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), for reportedly jeopardizing their two hydropower projects.
The leading state-owned electricity generation company, operating around 10,000-MW with asset base of $ 15 billion in South Korea moved further to bring Foreign Direct Investment of around $ 1.2 billion for the development of 229-MW Asrit Kedam Hydropower project and 238-Kalam Asrit hydropower project on BOOT basis located in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the successful commissioning of the 102-MW Gulpur Hydropower Project in 2015.
“Inordinate delays, firstly on account of approval of IGCEP-2022-31 by 8-9 months and now due to lack of clarity in 2022 Regulations on Nepra’s part are putting it efforts, its investments, and much needed Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan in jeopardy and have shaken sponsors to the core,” said the Branch Manager.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023