China-Pakistan energy project to benefit 10 million locals

The first major energy project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was inaugurated on Monday in Sahiwal in Pakistan’s eastern province of Punjab.

Sahiwal coal-fired power plant
Photo taken on July 3, 2017 shows the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant in Sahiwal in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab. Image: Xinhua via

With its two 660-megawatt units, the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant is expected to generate 9 billion kwh of electricity annually to address about one fourth of Pakistan’s current power deficit, supplying the electricity demand of 10 million locals, according to an official from the China Huaneng Group, a major shareholder of the Sahiwal power plant.

Nur Bekri, director of China’s National Energy Administration, said at the inaugural ceremony that the completion of the Sahiwal power plant is another milestone for the China-Pakistan cooperation and that the plant will continuously inject driving power to Pakistan’s economic development.

He said that the Chinese energy authority will continue to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation with Pakistan in terms of energy so as to tangibly push forward the construction of CPEC to benefit people both from China and Pakistan.

The power plant was built within a 22-month period, the fastest in Pakistan. The power plant equips two highly efficient generation units with a series of advanced anti-pollution measures.

For his part, chief minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif said that the Sahiwal power plant is the first step to realise the blueprint of CPEC and it will bring tremendous improvement to the Pakistani economy.

Punjab provincial energy Secretary Asad Gillani told Xinhua that with the connection to the national grid, electricity generated from Sahiwal will be distributed to all Pakistan and help shorten periods of power cut in the country.

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