Geng Shuang, spokesperson of China’s foreign ministry in this file photo. | Photo Credit: The Hindu
China has thrown open its economic corridor with Pakistan for investment by third countries after successfully commissioning a power plant near Karachi.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang invited other countries to participate in the corridor on the "principle of equality and voluntarism," after Wednesday’s commissioning of the first phase of the 1320 Megawatt Port Qasim power project. He described China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of its trans-continental Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as "an open initiative."
Mr. Geng cited participation by Qatar's Al-Mirqab Capital as an illustration of Beijing’s openness to third-party participation. "This is the first project participated by the third country. It shows that the CPEC is an open initiative. We are willing to explore the participation of more countries with the principle of equality and voluntarism,” Mr. Geng observed.
Focus on energy projects
China has been focusing on energy projects as part of its plan to build comprehensive infrastructure — the first essential step to industrialise Pakistan.
Earlier in May, the Sahiwal coal-fired plant in Punjab had been commissioned, generating more than 1000 MW of electricity. By 2019, another 1320-MW would be generated in two stages at a coal-fired plant in Balochistan.
Under CPEC, hydel power projects along the Jhelum river or its tributaries, mainly in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) are expected to yield at least 2700 MW.
Plans are afoot to develop solar and wind power as well. A solar park in Bahawalpur is planned to generate 1000MW, while wind energy,
according to current plans will generate a more modest 300 MW.