Engineering Post Report
The second phase of great game changer China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is already well underway with an increased emphasis on industrialization and the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), agriculture modernization , science and technology cooperation, promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled environments and the establishment of Information Technology (IT) and High Technology Zones and socio-economic developments in all regions and areas of the country.
The overall goal as such remains to reap the benefits of the first phase of the CPEC 2015-20 investment which has created an enabling environment for investment in other sectors by mostly filling the existing infrastructure and energy gaps..
The 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of time-tested neighbouring countries and iron brothers China and Pakistan has several deliverables that have since been identified by all the stakeholders.
As regards connectivity, on the Western alignment, Zhob-Quetta section is under-construction whereas the Dera Ismail Khan -Zhob section is at the appropriate level of discussion with the Chinese side for financing and is expected to be launched during new financial year 2022-23. G2G Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure has been duly notified to prepare proposals of Realignment of Thakot-Raikot Section during 2022-23..
The construction work on New Gwadar International Airport is already underway and most likely to achieve CoD by October 2023..
The new projects proposed for inclusion in the CPEC framework in the near future include Dera Ismail Khan-Peshawar Motorway (365 km), Swat Expressway Phase 11 (82 km) and Dir Expressway ( 26 km).
Six energy sector projects with total installed capacity of around 3284 MW are currently under construction out of which 720 MW Karot Hydropower and 330 MW Thar Energy Limited have reached the final stages and completed about now.
The 330 MW Thal NOva, 320 MW Thar Block -1 and 884 MW Sukkur Kinari HPP are expected to be completed during current financial year 2022-23 while work on 1124 MW Kohala, 700.7 MW Azad Pattan HPP and 300 Gwadar Coal Power is also expected to commence during 2022-23.
Furthermore, quit significant progress has been made on utility provision under the industrial cooperation during 2021-22 on which work is to be continued during 2022-23.
Investment plans for attracting the prospective investors, particularly the Chinese , have also been floated. The initial response in this regard from international investors including from China, US, Canada , UK and Germany has been termed as quite encouraging by the official quarters concerned.
Meanwhile, Joint Industrial Diagnostic Studies, on the pattern of Textile Diagnostic Studies carried out in 2020-21, are also planned with a view to identify impediments in other sectors of mutual interest .
Both sides of China and Pakistan have since agreed in the 6th Joint Working Group meeting in April 2022 to form a sub-working group on Industrial Cooperation to promote the Mines and Mineral sector pf Pakistan..
Additionally, Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) and Karachi Port Trust are also finalizing the Investment Framework Agreement for Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone, as per available information.