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PowerChina project wins praise from Foreign Ministry

Updated: 2017-06-13

A cooperation project between China and Pakistan -- the Sahiwal Coal Power Plant -- came under the spotlight at a regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry in Beijing on May 31.

The plant was a project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) constructed by the State-owned Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) .

Hua Chunying, Ministry spokeswoman, pointed out the significance of the project, saying the plant is an important energy project of the CPEC.

On May 25, a ceremony marking the full operation of the first unit of the plant was held in Sahiwal, Punjab province. Once completed, the plant will become one of the Pakistan's clean coal power plants with the largest installed capacity, generating 9 billion kWh of electricity per year to meet the energy needs of nearly 10 million people, according to Hua.

Hua noted that 11 out of 17 priority projects in the energy sector of the CPEC, jointly planned by China and Pakistan, are under construction.

“The inauguration of the first unit of the Sahiwal power plant signifies that we will soon see a host of energy projects in the corridor constructed and completed. The majorities of the energy projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2019, which will help relieve the energy shortage in Pakistan and bring benefits to the people there.” She said.

“Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke highly of the workers from China and Pakistan for setting a record in completing the construction within just 22 months. He said that Pakistan's energy shortage will be greatly relieved and economic growth benefited thanks to the CPEC and the large scale energy projects in particular. China's Belt and Road Initiative is creating positive effects in Pakistan, and will also change the fate of countries and people along the routes.” Hua said.

PowerChina Nuclear Engineering Company and PowerChina’s SEPCO1 Electric Power Construction Corporation was the general contractor and undertaker of the project, respectively.

The workers have overcome all kinds of difficulties and challenges to ensure the safety and quality of the project. They spent 19 months finishing the No 1 Unit, as well as the construction and installation of public systems, setting a new record for PowerChina’s overseas project.

The project gained recognition from the Pakistani government and China Huaneng Group, a major shareholder of the Sahiwal power plant, faciliating the corporate branding of “PowerChina” among the local population. With its two 660-megawatt units, the Sahiwal power plant will ease local the power shortage and improve local livelihoods.