ISLAMABAD: A project to generate 2,300MW of electricity through wind turbines and solar panels has turned out to be the most important agreement reached with China during the recent visit of Premier Wen Jiabao, says Board of Investment (BoI) chairman Saleem H. Mandviwala.
Briefing the media on the outcome of the Pakistan-China Business Cooperation Summit, he said the project would involve an investment of $6.5 billion and wind power projects of 1,000MW each would be set up in Punjab and Sindh. A 200MW solar power project would be set up in Punjab and another of 100MW in Sindh.
Mr Mandviwala said the agreement signed between the China International Water and Electric Corporation and the Alternate Energy Development Board would also involve transfer of technology and China would assist Pakistan in manufacturing solar panels and turbines.
He said the summit had worked out 22 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in different sectors, including wind power generation, solar energy, mining, trade, textile, engineering goods, automobile, electronics and chemicals, but 18 MoUs were signed and the remaining four would be taken up in the near future when the BoI would hold another ‘business-to-business’ meeting with Chinese investors to formalise the agreements.
He said the 18 MoUs negotiated through the forum of BoI involved $15 billion, including investment, equity sharing and borrowing. The two sides would jointly look into feasibility of the projects, decide locations in consultation with the provinces and arrange financing, he said.
The BOI chairman described the $3.55 billion MoU on National Transmission Distribution Company as yet another landmark in the energy sector, saying that power generation required new transmission and distribution lines which would be financed by the China Development Bank.
He said a project for harbour dredging could not be finalised because it needed further deliberations, but expressed the hope that it would be signed soon.
Under various agreements, Chinese private sector companies will buy cotton yarn, seafood, frozen fish, guar, marble stone, rapeseed, chrome ore, manganese ore, and different types of leather from Pakistani private sector.
A list of 13 inter-governmental projects for which MoUs have been signed includes reciprocal establishment of cultural centres; strengthening technical cooperation and Pak-China road transport activities between the Chinese ministry of transport and Pakistan’s ministry of communication; grant of $200 million for flood reconstruction projects; grant of $200 million for agricultural projects; concessionary loan to Pakistan for non-intrusive vehicle X-ray inspection system projects; launching of Urdu programme of China Radio International in Radio Pakistan; cooperation between the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Securities Regulatory Commission of China; Safe City Islamabad project; and establishment of National Electronics Complex of Pakistan.
About an agreement on Bilateral Investment Treaty with the United States, Mr Mandviwala said that talks were progressing since the US had made changes in the templates which were delaying signing of the treaty.