Chairman CPEC Authority Lt. Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa has said that a number of companies from Gulf region were interested to establish industrial units in the Gwadar Free Zone.
“There has been a lot of progress on free zone in the city that spanned over an area of 2400 acres where not only local and Chinese investors but those from Gulf area were also keen to set up their industries,” he said in his recent interview with a Youtube channel.
He said there had been great progress on the city and the port and recently “we started construction of Gwadar airport with support of the Chinese government who granted $230 million for the project”, he added.
With respect to the planned Oil City in Gwadar, he informed that about 30 kms away from the city near Pasni, an area was being designated for an oil refinery and oil storage, a press release issued by the government showed.
The Chairman pointed out that after completion of the Main Line one (ML-1) railway up-gradation project, the Gwadar port city would be linked with the rest of the country through railway line.
“A new railway line would be laid from Quetta to Gwadar to link the port city with rest of the country and beyond,” Asim Bajwa said.
Further he said the railway line up to Iran would also be up-graded to enhance scope of the mega project, the press release added further.
Bajwa who is also Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting pointed out that the biggest ever project that was being executed under CPEC was the ML-1 project.
“All initial processes have been completed, its evaluation has been done, and estimation has also been reviewed,” he termed the $6.8 billion project a historical one for logistic infrastructure in Pakistan as every business was going to become viable so far as freight traffic through railways was concerned.
Besides he said the ML-1 project would also bring revolution in the passenger movement from Karachi to Peshawar as the travel time from Lahore to Karachi would be reduced to only 8 hours, it added.
To a question, Bajwa said the 1870 kilometers ML-1 project was a huge initiative that was scheduled to be completed over a period of 7-9 years in phases.
However he said as many projects under CPEC had already been completed before time so this project could also be done before the settled time period, the press release noted.