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Azad Pattan: What is the PoK hydel project deal signed by Pakistan, China?


The $ 1.5-billion project is the second power project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), for which an agreement has been signed in the last two months.

The 700-MW hydel power project is being built on the Jhelum river in Sudhoti district of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, Pakistan and China signed an agreement for the 700 MW Azad Pattan hydel power project on the Jhelum river in Sudhoti district of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The $ 1.5-billion project is the second power project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), for which an agreement has been signed in the last two months. The first agreement, for the 1,100 MW Kohala project, was signed on June 23. That project, worth $ 2.3 billion, too will come up on the Jhelum near Muzaffarabad.

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Azad Pattan hydel project

The agreement, signed on July 7, is not yet in the public domain. According to the EPC (Engineer, Procurement and Contract) agreement, the project is a run-of-the-river scheme with a reservoir located near Muslimabad village, 7 km upstream from the Azad Pattan bridge, in district Sudhnoti, one of the eight districts of PoK.

According to the details in the 2017 agreement, the construction of the project, which was first proposed in 2002, will take 69 months, and the project will be commissioned by 2024. The project will comprise a 90-metre-high dam, with a 3.8 sq km reservoir.

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The project was cleared in June 2016 by the government of PoK through Private Power Infrastructure Board – a single-window facilitator created by Pakistan’s government in 1994 to promote private investment in power projects – which nominated Power Universal Co. Ltd., which is wholly owned and controlled by the China Gezhouba group, a Chinese state-owned multinational corporation, as the main sponsor and initial shareholder.

Gezhouba set up a special purpose joint venture with the Laraib Group, a Pakistani renewable energy developer. The JV is called Azad Pattan Power Private Ltd Corporation, and it will develop the project on the ‘build, own, operate, transfer’ (BOOT) model. The project will be transferred to the government of Pakistan after 30 years.

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The Azad Pattan project is one of five hydropower schemes on the Jhelum. Upstream from Azad Pattan are the Mahl, Kohala, and Chakothi Hattian projects; Karot is downstream. Like Kohala and Azad Pattan, Karot too, is being developed under the CPEC framework
https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/azad-pattan-pok-hydel-project-pakistan-china-6507640/

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