Iran, Tajikistan offer to supply electricity

Found in the Internet Edition of DAWN, on September 27, 2005, by Ihtasham ul Haque – ISLAMABAD: Iran and Tajikistan have offered to substantially help Pakistan in meeting its growing energy requirements in the absence of any decision on big dams.

Sources told Dawn that initially Iran had promised to export electricity to various parts of Balochistan. As a first step, Iran is supplying 30mw of electricity to the coastal areas of the province.

The Iranian government had offered to provide an additional 20mw to meet the requirements of Gwadar area, for which negotiations are expected to conclude soon.

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tajikistan to explore the feasibility of importing electricity from that country, which has a sizeable surplus, currently being supplied to other states, including Russia.

The Tajikistan energy minister would visit Pakistan in November or December to finalize modalities of the electricity export.

The sources said the government wanted to urgently overcome the shortage of electricity in Gwadar and was discussing the issue with Iran. The Iranian government was being asked to help meet the electricity and gas requirements of Gwadar district, they said.

The Gwadar port authorities, the sources said, had asked the federal

government to take steps to meet the gas and electricity requirements, especially for the proposed hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other projects in the area.

According to a government document, an aggressive marketing strategy has been adopted to attract serious and credible foreign and local investors in the power generation sector. Emphasis has been placed on developing and attracting private investments in hydro-electric and coal-based projects.

The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has held road-shows in London and Dubai to offer a variety of opportunities in the sector.

The board has decided to hold international bidding for three thermal power projects worth $1.3 billion in Lahore, Faisalabad and Uch with a combined generation capacity of 1,200-1,400mw.

For investments in hydro-electric projects, the PPIB has identified seven raw sites with a capacity of about 1,800mw.

The government has invited expressions of interest for developing a 450mw plant in the Lakhra coal-fired project.

An MOU has been signed with the Shenhua group of China to develop Thar coal and to set up a 600mw project there.

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