BEIJING, Nov 22 (APP)::Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Zhao Lijian Monday said that the Karot hydropower project, after commissioning, would provide stable and low price energy and help optimize the energy supply mix of Pakistan besides helping the country to achieve sustainable development.
On November 20, Karot hydropower station, the first hydropower project under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has started the storage of water. I have visited this project many times when I was working in Pakistan and now the project is 95 percent finished, he said during his press briefing while responding to a question asked by APP.
He said that this hydropower station would generate 3.2 billion kilowatt of electricity every year and was expected to reduce Co2 emissions by 3500 tons.
Zhao Lijian remarked that CPEC was flagship project under BRI and energy cooperation is important part of CPEC.
We would like to work with the Pakistani side to implement important consensus of the leaders of our two countries on high quality CPEC development, deepen cooperation in various sectors, including energy sector, and bring more benefits to the people and built the CPEC into our flagship project under BRI.
The Karot Hydropower Project, a major pilot project under CPEC, successfully closed the gate of the diversion tunnel on Saturday, starting reservoir impoundment.
So far, over 95 percent work has been completed and the four units of the station are expected to generate electricity in the first half of 2022.
Invested by the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) with a total of about 1.74 billion U.S. dollars, the Karot hydropower project in Punjab province was the fourth level of the five cascade hydropower stations planned for the Jhelum River.
The beginning of the reservoir impoundment of the first CPEC hydropower investment project was a milestone and would pave the way for the wet testing of the generator units, Wang Yi, Karot hydropower project team leader at the site of the CTG told the Chinese media.
Since the groundbreaking of the project in April, 2015, the Chinese and Pakistani engineers and workers at the project have jointly overcome different challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, thus a series of achievements have been made such as the river closure and lifting of the first rotor, Wang said.
To date, around 95 percent of the project has been completed and the four units of the station are expected to generate electricity in the first half of 2022, Wang added.
Zuo Yaxi, head of the Engineering Department of China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Ltd. (CSAIL) counted challenges in the construction of the hydropower plant.
We spent two years working out solutions to cope with the sandstone and mud-stone underground, which interrupted our grouting work. We made it after repeated trial and error. The cement used for the construction was produced locally, so we tried very hard to control temperature rise and reduce cracks in the concrete, he said in an interview.
Rashid Awan, a Pakistani civil engineer working at the hydropower project also told the Chinese media that the start of reservoir impoundment is hard-earned fruit by the mutual support between the Pakistani and Chinese workers.
The forthcoming commercial operation of the hydropower station project, which has provided over 4,000 jobs for the locals during the peak time of its constriction, will further address the electricity shortage issues in Pakistan with cheap and clean energy and improve the energy structure of the country.
The 720-megawatt Karot hydropower project is expected to annually generate some 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity once put into operation, reducing 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.