BEIJING, March 12 (INP): A Chinese enterprise inked two contracts for a huge hydropower station in Pakistan, a cooperation that experts say will benefit both Chinese enterprises struggling to shed overcapacity and will improve livelihoods in Pakistan.
Chinese power major China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) signed deals to carry out the main civil works in the first stage of the Dasu hydropower project, the largest such project by capacity in Pakistan.
the cost of the first phase of the project was projected at $4.2 billion, and would lead to 2,160 megawatts (MW) of power generation in four to five years, reports Chinese Media.
The project will be constructed on the Indus River near Dasu town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, 345 kilometers from Islamabad.
Previously, China's Three Gorges Corp started construction of the 720 MW Karot Project in January 2016. Chinese companies are also building coal-fired power plants in southern Pakistan and a nuclear power station near Karachi.
The project will help the Pakistani government to end electricity outages in early 2018.
CGGC said in a statement that the project will be one of the most difficult hydropower 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 ethnic 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 Thursday.
The Dasu project is a flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of the Belt and Road initiative. Media reports in Pakistan estimate the total investment for the CPEC will be $46 billion.