Pakistan, China sign an agreement for construction of Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project

ISLAMABAD : To raise the share of hydropower production in the total energy mix, Pakistan has signed Azad Pattan Hydropower Project to add around 700 megawatts of electricity to its capacity by 2022. Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed the signing of the agreement with China Gezhouba for Azad Pattan Hydropower Project at a Ceremony in Islamabad Monday. As part of CPEC, with an investment of 1.5 billion dollars and 700.7 megawatts of electricity, Azad Pattan will involve no fuel import, enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities. The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026. Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the project is an investment and will not be a burden on the country. According to details, an agreement has been signed for Azad Pattan Hydropower Project. The project will generate 700 megawatts of electricity and create 3,000 jobs. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the project, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that “we have learned a lot from the development of China, and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will take Pakistan to the very top.” The Prime Minister said that unfortunately in the past no attention was paid to cheap electricity. Countries in Debt have to pay a heavy price. “We are not building a power project with a loan, it is an investment,” he added. Imran Khan said that CPEC is moving forward in different phases. The Azad Pattan Hydropower Project is a CPEC project and our priority is clean energy which will not affect the environment. The Prime Minister said that after the 1990s, expensive electricity had a huge impact on the economy. The hydropower project electricity will benefit a lot. Expensive electricity had damaged the industry and expensive electricity had made a difference in every sector. Addressing the ceremony, he said that the people had to pay a heavy price for electricity from imported oil. “I am happy that now electricity will be generated from water in Pakistan and these projects will fulfill our dream of a clean and green Pakistan”, said PM.  He said China is emerging as an economic power on the world’s map and Pakistan can learn a lot from its development.  Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa Monday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) made another achievement by signing the project of Azad Pattan Hydel power. “CPEC makes another milestone achievement; Prime Minister Imran Khan graced the signing ceremony of Azad Pattan Hydel power Project today with China Gezhouba,” Bajwa said in a tweet. He said the country was moving towards cheaper and greener power as after completion of hydel power projects there would be no fuel import for electricity generation. He said this project would be completed with an investment of $1.5 billion. It may be mentioned here that the Azad Pattan Hydropower Project is a 700 MW hydroelectric power station on the Jhelum River roughly 7 km upstream of Azad Pattan Bridge in the Sudhanoti District of Azad Kashmir.

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