China on Thursday congratulated the Karot hydropower project, the first hydropower investment project developed by the China Three Gorges Corp under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), on its full commercial operation.
'Congratulations to the Karot hydropower project on its full commercial operation,' Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing while commenting on commercial operation of the Karot Hydropower project.
Located on the Jhelum River, the project, with a total installed capacity of 720 megawatts, started its full commercial operation on June 29.
The spokesperson said that the Karot hydropower project is a priority project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) energy cooperation and added, 'It is also the first large hydropower investment project of CPEC.'
He said the project is incorporated in the intergovernmental joint statement between the two countries. The project was finished in seven years by people in both countries who have overcome difficulties and challenges.
'The Karot hydropower project has total installed capacity of 720 megawatt. It is expected to generate some 3.2 billion kilowatt of electricity,' he added.
Zhao Lijian informed that the project will not only meet the electricity needs of about 5 million local people and effectively ease the strain of electricity supply, but also improve Pakistan's energy mix and save about 1.4 million tons of standard coal and reduce 3.5 million tonnes of co2 emissions each year.
While promoting Pakistan's energy and socio economic development, the project will also contribute to global carbon neutrality and a global response to climate change, he added.
He said that China and Pakistan are all weather strategic cooperative partners and the CPEC is a pilot project under the Belt and Road Initiative and an important platform of our comprehensive and practical cooperation.
'CPEC is guided by green, open and clean development. It is committed to achieving sustainable livelihood oriented and high standard growth. Since its inception, CPEC has produced fruitful results,' he added.
Zhao Lijian said that China is ready to work with Pakistan to carry forward our traditional friendship, deepen our comprehensive strategic comprehensive practical cooperation, promote continued progress of CPEC and bring the bilateral relations, people to people exchanges and socio economic development up to new level.
While commenting on completion of the project, Chairman, China Three Gorges International Corporation, Wu Shengliang said that Karot Project will provide 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of cheap and clean electricity to the national grid every year to meet the energy demands of around five million local consumers. It will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 tons every year.
The hydroelectric power plant, which started construction in April of 2015, will foster the global push for carbon neutrality, make new contributions to dealing with global climate change and effectively alleviate Pakistan's power shortage.
The Karot hydropower project in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province is the fourth stage of the five cascade hydropower stations planned for the Jhelum River.
The China Three Gorges Corp said that during the construction of the project it provided scholarships for more than 20 public welfare projects such as schools, hospitals and roads for local communities, to promote development of surrounding communities.
In addition, the project can provide more than 4,500 direct and indirect local jobs each year.
The China Three Gorges Corp said it has provided infrastructure such as clean energy supply to more than 40 countries and regions around the world, with a total overseas installed capacity of about 18 million kilowatts.