BEIJING, Jan 24 (APP):With about 70 percent of the overall construction completed, the 720-megawatt Karot Hydropower Plant, a major pilot project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and located some 70 km east of Capital Islamabad, is expected to be put into commercial operation by the end of 2021.

“Once it gets functional, the CPEC project will annually generate some 3.2 billion units of clean electricity, meeting the electricity demand of around 5 million local people and optimizing the energy consumption structure in the country, Li Zhili, deputy general manager of Karot Power Company said.

During the construction period, the project has provided tremendous job opportunities to local people, with nearly 5,000 Pakistani employees while the total number of the Chinese staff is just around one-fourth of that of the locals, the deputy general manager told Xinhua.

According to official sources, the project is being constructed at river Jehlum with an estimated cost of US $1420 million. Financial close of the project was achieved in February, 2017 while land acquisition award has also been done.

Similarly, work for the construction of access roads, bridges, concrete batching plant, diversion tunnel and spillway is in process.

The Karot Hydropower Project is a 720MW run-of-river project to be built on the Jhelum River, and is being developed by Karot Power Company (KPCL), a special purpose project in which China Three Gorges South Asia Investment (CSAIL) also holds shares.

The hydropower project (HPP) will have a reservoir storage capacity of 164.5m. The project will help to improve the dependability of the energy supply in the region.