China to build power transmission line in Pakistan

020161231002524State Grid of China will help build a 4,000-megawatt power transmission line in Pakistan in a project valued at US$1.5 billion, Pakistan said yesterday, the latest in a series of Chinese investments in its South Asian neighbor.

The high-capacity transmission line will be the first of its kind in Pakistan and will link Matiari town in the south, near a new power station, to Lahore in the east, a key link in transmission infrastructure, the Pakistani government said.

An agreement on the project was signed on Thursday in Beijing between State Grid Chairman Shu Yinbiao and Mohammad Younus Dagha, Pakistan’s secretary of water and power, the government said in a statement.

 Construction will begin in January and should take about 20 months, said a spokesman for the Pakistani prime minister’s office.

Pakistan has been plagued by a shortage of electricity for years, with widespread rolling blackouts in both rural and urban areas.

The government has managed to cut load shedding — scheduled power outages — in some areas, but production gaps and distribution woes remain.

The project is the latest in a series of big Chinese investments, most of which fall under a planned US$55 billion worth of projects for a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The corridor is a combination of power and infrastructure projects that link west China to Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar.

Other Chinese investment in Pakistan has included the acquisition of a majority stake by Shanghai Electric of the K-Electric power production and distribution company for US$1.8 billion.

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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