China’s public sector companies continue to support the development of renewable energy infrastructure in Pakistan as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
HydroChina Investment Corporation is the latest Chinese company to invest in the development of a wind energy project in Pakistan. The company will invest $115 million for the implementation of a 50 MW wind energy project near Karachi.
The project is expected to be operational by September next year and will generate enough electricity to fulfil the needs of the equivalent of 100,000 households. Officials working on the project expect the payback period of the project to be 8 years.
Last year, another 50 MW wind energy project that received investment from a Chinese company was also commissioned, receiving $130 million investment from the China Three Gorges Corporation.
China has been supporting Pakistan with financial and technical assistance for setting up power plants across various technologies. In addition to wind energy projects, Chinese companies are also working on Pakistan’s largest solar power project – the 1 GW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park. Two Chinese private companies are directly involved in the construction of the project. The project currently has an operational capacity of 100 MW, which is expected to be increased to 300 MW by the end of this year, and to 1 GW by end of 2016.
China is also helping Pakistan set up nuclear power plants, but many believe renewable energy projects hold the key for the power-deficit Pakistan. Nuclear and thermal power plants take significant time to be completed, and Pakistan has been struggling to bridge the gap between demand and supply for years. Renewable energy projects, with low construction time, present the best solution to the power crisis.