$2.4bn Kohala Hydropower Project signed for 1,124MW
After facing a delay of more than four years, the agreement to launch 1,100 MegaWatt Kohala Hydropower Project was signed between Pakistan and China on Thursday.
Taking to twitter, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa said, “historic day-tripartite agreement signing ceremony for Kohala Hydel Power Project being held today. Largest power sector investment of $2.4 billion in one IPP. With PM’s clear direction to expedite the CPEC projects, all stakeholders worked hard to bring this day,”
Terming the signing agreement historic, Bajwa said the Kohala project is the largest power sector project with a total investment of $2.4bn.
The project is situated on the Jhelum river near Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The construction of the project will be carried out by the China Three Gorges Corporation under the built, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
The project will be financed through the independent power producer mode.
As per the project details available on the CPEC website, the Stage-1 feasibility study of the project has been completed whereas the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has already announced the tariff for the electricity that will be produced from the project.
Although, the tariff rates are likely to be revised as they were calculated back in 2014.
Moreover, the Azad Jammu Kashmir’s Environmental Protection Agency has also issued a no objection certificate (NOC) for the project and the government has started acquiring land for the project.
The project’s expected commercial operation date is in six years from now in 2026.
Earlier, in 2015, the project hit a snag after communities in the vicinity of Jhelum river had opposed the construction of a dam due to the project’s planned diversion of the river away from the city of Muzaffarabad.
The feasibility report on the dam, to be built on the river, was prepared by an Australian firm SMEC Holding Limited.
Due to its renewable energy source, the project will also earn carbon credits from the United Nations under the Kyoto Protocols for the development of clean energy.