10 March 2017 (APP):
Dasu Hydroelectric Power Project will produce 5,400 MW electricity along with creating of more than 8,000 jobs to local residents while helping the Pakistan government modernize and expand the energy sector of the country, shifting from thermal generated electricity to clean, low-cost high reward hydro-electricity.
The project, consisting of the main dam, affiliated facilities, a powerhouse, a residential complex and transmission lines, will also help boost the development of local industry, agriculture and tourism, ‘China Daily’ reported on Friday.
It said, China has contracted to build the project situated in remote mountainous terrain in the Upper Indus valley in the district of Kohistan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd will invest more than $1.72 billion for the construction of the main works of the 5,400 MW hydro-power project.
According to Deng Yinqi, vice president of CGGC, a member company of the China Energy Engineering Corporation, the power project on completion would be capable of generating 12 billion kilowatt hours annually.
A Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’ quoting experts say, the project will benefit both Chinese enterprises and improve livelihoods in Pakistan.
The CGGC said in a statement that the project will be one of the most difficult hydro-power stations to build, and will have the largest capacity and investment in Pakistan.
It will also alleviate local power shortages and create a large number of employment opportunities, it said.
The project is expected to create 8,000 jobs for the local community, according to news portal people.com.cn.
Zhou Rong, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, said it is worth noting that these employment opportunities will be brought to an underdeveloped region.
“When people set foot on the path of prosperity, with the help of Chinese builders, they will develop a heartfelt feeling toward China, providing double assurance to the iron-clad relationship between China and Pakistan,” Zhou told the Global Times.
The Dasu project is a flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of the Belt and Road initiative.
Zhou noted, “this project getting the green light shows China’s efforts to make the development of the CPEC more balanced between the developed and undeveloped regions, and between safer and riskier regions of Pakistan.”
Many of the CPEC projects are located in Punjab and Sindh, which makes economic sense as these more developed provinces are home to about 80 percent of the Pakistan population, but there are voices from other provinces that the CPEC should be more balanced.
Zhou said the Dasu project demonstrates that the CPEC will benefit all of Pakistan.
Lin Boqiang, Director of the Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, said, “China has a strong hydro-power industry. The success of huge projects like Dasu will lead to more cooperation in the future.
Project Status as per WAPDA
Five Contracts for Preparatory were awarded and Contractors mobilized to site.
Out of five, two Contracts of Project Colony (PC-01) and Dasu Resettlement Sites (Choochng) & Shatial Open Air Museum terminated due to breach of Contact by Contractor.
However, works on three Contracts are in progress. Letter of Acceptance for Contracts of Main Works (MW-01, Main Hydraulic Structure (RCC Dam) , Spillway, Low level outlets, River Diversion & Hydraulic Steel Structures, MW-02, Underground Power Complex, Tunnels & Hydraulic Steel Structures) issued on December 29, 2016 to M/s CGGC being the lowest responsive bidder.
Commencement work expected at site probably in March/April 2017.