First hydropower project under CPEC starts functioning
On June 29, the Karot hydropower project (HPP) was put into full commercial operation. This is a major milestone in the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), flagship of the mega Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by China.
While Pakistani authorities expressed jubilation and gratitude to the Chinese government for its cooperation in the completion of the 720 Megawatts Karot HPP, the Chinese side also extended their felicitations.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry congratulated Pakistan on the start of full commercial operation of the Karot Hydropower Plant.
He reiterated that the Karot HPP is a priority project for energy cooperation and the first large-scale hydropower investment project under CPEC.
The project was listed in the joint statement of the Chinese and Pakistani governments. Workers from both countries overcame difficulties and challenges together to complete the project, a process that took them seven years.
With a total installed capacity of 720,000 kilowatts, the Karot HPP will generate an average of 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which can meet the electricity demand of around five million people in the region and effectively reduce power shortage in Pakistan and improve the country’s energy structure.
It is expected to save about 1.4 million tonnes of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 3.5 million tonnes per year, which will help achieve the global “carbon neutral” target and make new contributions to global climate response while promoting energy construction and economic and social development in Pakistan.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, who has earlier served as Deputy Head of the Chinese Diplomatic Mission at Islamabad for many years and is a close friend of Pakistan, stated that: China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners.
CPEC is a key pilot project under the BRI and an important platform for all-round practical cooperation between the two countries.
It is guided by the concept of green, open and clean development and committed to realizing sustainable, livelihood-oriented and high-standard growth. Since its launch, cooperation in various fields under CPEC has delivered fruitful outcomes.
China stands ready to work with Pakistan to renew our traditional friendship, deepen all-round practical cooperation and ensure CPEC will continue to blossom and bear more fruits and bring bilateral relations, people-to-people exchanges and economic and social development of the two countries to a new level.
On March 30, the Karot HPP had achieved a major landmark towards the commercial operation date (COD) as it had successfully hoisted its 4th and final rotor at the powerhouse.
The rotor was an important component used for the excitation function, which was essential to power generation. It was another major significant step toward the COD of the first CPEC HPP, which has now seen successful fruition.
Each unit can produce 180MW of Power and the total hydropower potential of Karot HPP is 720MW which has now commenced commercial operation.
The Karot HPP, located at a distance of about 76 Km from Islamabad, has a total installed capacity of Karot HPP is 720 MW with an annual electricity generation of 3,206 Gwh. The project is equipped with four state of art Francis turbines and will fulfill the needs of five million consumers throughout Pakistan.
The full commercial operation of the Karot HPP successfully, speaks volumes for the deep-rooted friendship and brotherly ties between China and Pakistan.
In the near past, detractors of China and Pakistan had been trying to drive a wedge between the two brotherly nations and spreading fake news of CPEC being shut down.
Those elements, which harbour inimical feelings towards China and Pakistan and would like to place impediments in the path of progress, fail to appreciate the depth of the relationship. They are perhaps oblivious of the strength of the bonds between the “Iron Brothers”.
Other countries may have relationships at the government level or between different political parties but the ties between China and Pakistan are between its people and irrespective of the changes in regime or government, the relationship between the people of China and Pakistan has withstood the test of time and remains steadfast.
CPEC bears testimony to this and is symbolic of the solid foundations on which Sino-Pak ties have been built.
Various governments who have come and gone in Pakistan, have reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to further deepen and strengthen Pakistan-China All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
They have endorsed Pakistan’s support to the One China Policy and the core Chinese interests.Simultaneously, they remain appreciative of the Chinese consistent support of Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political stability and socio-economic development.
CPEC remains at the core of the people-to-people relations between China and Pakistan. If any protagonist has the wrong idea that it can sabotage or subvert CPEC, he or she is sadly mistaken.
CPEC is here to stay and its various projects have seen realization, simultaneously the quality development of the second phase of the CPEC and bilateral cooperation in areas such as industries, agriculture and information technology is the manifestation of the Sino-Pakistan multidimensional partnership. When the entire CPEC project is complete, it will add to the prosperity of the region.
The full commercial operation of the Karot Hydropower Plant successfully belie any misgivings against the mega project.