The prime minister said that the Chinese firms are willing to invest in Pakistan.

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday inaugurated a 1,320MW coal-fired Hub Power Station in Hub, a city in the Lasbela District of Balochistan, set up by the China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Addressing an inauguration ceremony, he said that Hub Power Plant is the first joint project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The prime minister said that the Chinese firms are willing to invest in Pakistan, adding that Thar coal reserves should be used for electricity generation.

WATCH FULL SPEECH HERE:

Imran Khan said that the biggest issue of Pakistan is current account deficit, adding that the country was facing historic deficit when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power. Pakistan can generate 50,000 megawatt of electricity through water, he said.

He went on to say that the PTI government want to resolve Karachi’s water crisis.

"The government is moving towards the second phase of CPEC and it has established CPEC Authority to facilitate the projects under the program," he said.

The prime minister said during his recent visit to China, the Chinese President and Prime Minister expressed interest to give momentum to CPEC projects.

Imran Khan said the productivity of Chinese companies is quite higher than their counterparts in Pakistan and our country would like to benefit from it. He said we will introduce new techniques in farming sector in collaboration with Chinese enterprises.

He congratulated the Hubco Chairman Habibullah Khan on the project and asked him to use more indigenous coal for power generation. He also asked him to work on water projects for Karachi. He regretted that Pakistan has a rich hydropower resources and capacity which was not utilized effectively by the previous governments.

"Government is committed to increase ease of doing business in the country to attract foreign investment," Imran Khan said and added red tapism and undue hurdles in the way of business are being removed.

"Balochistan is the province that is full of rich mineral deposits. He said during his visit to the US chairman of company previously working on Rekodik project informed him that Pakistan has one of the largest and finest quality gold reserves in the world. Chairman said they are still interested in working on the reserves as they believe that incumbent government of Pakistan is free of corruption. In past, a small group of people plundered the national wealth and filled their pockets. "

The premier said apart from mineral resources, the province of Balochistan is also blessed with huge fisheries resources and its development can help earn valuable foreign exchange.

Earlier today, the premier arrived in Karachi on a day-long visit, where he met Sindh Governor Imran Ismail. The premier was briefed on progress achieved in certain important projects during the meeting.

With an approximate cost of US $2 billion, the project is a joint venture between the Hub Power Company (Hubco) and China Power International Holding (CPIH) and a part of early harvest energy projects under the CPEC framework agreement.

A couple of months ago, the government commissioned the Hub Power Station with a capacity of 1,320MW (two plants with 660 MW capacity each).

“M/s CPHGC has successfully undergone through commissioning tests as per the agreed procedure. The engineer has certified the successful commissioning of the complex,” had read a notification issued by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) – a government-owned subsidiary responsible for procuring power from plants and selling them to distribution companies.

The CPPA had said the power producer had called for declaring its commercial operation date (COD) from Aug 17, 2019, while its engineer – SGS – had also issued certificate of initial tested capacity that came out at 1,249MW. Therefore, it called upon the National Power Control Centre (NPCC) to issue dispatch instructions to the CPHGC keeping in view the system requirements.

Separately, the CPHGC had announced that it had successfully declared the COD of its 1,320MW (2x660) imported coal power plant and integrated jetty with coal transhipment capacity of 4.2 million tonnes per annum.

The government had approved the processing of 1,320MW imported coal-based power project at Hub in November 2014 and the joint venture of Hubco and CPIH was issued letter of intent in June 2015.

In February 2016, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had approved the upfront tariff for the power project.

“The successful completion of CPHGC project has fortified the dream of energy independence of Pakistan.”

The Pakistani principal of the project – Hubco – currently produces over 2,920MW through its four plants spread over Balochistan, Punjab and Azad Kashmir. Hubco is the only power producer in Pakistan with four projects listed in the CPEC, out of which three are under construction – Thar Energy Limited, Thalnova Power Thar (Pvt) Ltd and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company – at Thar Block II. The power generation capacity of the company has increased to over 3,580MW after the completion of the latest project.