25, May 2022
PRIME MINISTER SHAHBAZ SHARIF VISITS 720 MW KAROT HYDROPOWER PROJECT
25th May 2022: Honorable Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan visited Karot Hydropower Project on 25th May 2022 which is located on Jhelum River at about 55 km from load center of Islamabad / Rawalpindi near Village Karot on the dual boundary between district Kotli AJ&K and district Rawalpindi, Punjab. Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Power, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Secretary Power, Mr. Rashid Mahmood Langrial, Mr. Shah Jahan Mirza, MD PPIB/CEO AEDB, Mr. Zhang Jun, CEO Kohala Hydro Company, Mr. Wang Minsheng, CEO Karot Power Company Limited and other high ranking officials of Government of Pakistan, Government of Punjab, PPIB, CPPA-G, Sponsors and officials of Karot Project were also present on this occasion.
Out of four hydropower projects of more than 3,400 MW which are being processed by PPIB under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Karot is the first and so far the largest hydropower project reaching completion. PPIB issued Letter of Support to this project on 29th August 2013 after which the Financial Close was achieved on 22nd February 2017. Total cost of Karot Project is USD 1,698 million and its COD is set to achieve by the end of June 2022. Karot project will supply 3.2 billion units of green energy to the national grid per year and after completion of 30 years of operations by the Project Company, it will be transferred to the Province of Punjab free of cost. Furthermore, during the operation period of project, valuable revenue of Rs. 1.36 billion per year will be generated as Water Use Charges which will be shared equally between Punjab and AJ&K.
Prime Minister was given detailed briefing on the salient features of Karot Project. Talking on this occasion, the premiere said that the hydroelectricity is a clean source of power generation as well as much more cost-effective than power generated from thermal sources as after initial payment of debt, tariff will be dropped to as low as Rs. 2-3 per unit. Karot Hydropower Project under the CPEC, would play a positive role by producing 720 MW electricity and in turn boosting the economy of the country, said the Prime Minister, adding that Chinese and Pakistani workers are working hard to secure an early completion of the project. The premier termed Karot Project another milestone in China-Pakistan friendship & iron brotherhood and announced free electricity of approximately Rs. 4 billion will be supplied to the national grid until Commercial Operation Date (COD) is achieved. By substituting expensive fuel-based generation, this energy will provide saving of Rs. 9 billion to the national exchequer.
The Premiere appreciated all relevant departments of federal, AJ&K and provincial governments, Power Division, PPIB, CPPA, Chinese companies and other stakeholders for their combined work on the project and urged China and other counties to invest more in the power sector of Pakistan particularly in the hydro being renewable and eco-friendly.