KARACHI: K-Electric, Pakistan’s only vertically integrated power utility has signed an agreement with the state-owned China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the development a state-of-the-art 700MW Independent Power Producer (IPP) based power project at Port Qasim, Karachi.[the_ad id="31605"]The project was formally announced at the Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum held alongside the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China. The project agreement and contracts were signed by Moonis Alvi, Chief Executive Officer K-Electric and Zhang Chun, Chairman CMEC in the presence of Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser for Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment. This is a milestone project in the economic cooperation between China and Pakistan and will directly benefit Karachi, Pakistan’s economic hub. Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser for Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment shared, “I am sure that this is just one of a series of joint endeavors in the future that will translate into a win-win for shared prosperity in the region and beyond. Stable electricity supply infrastructure is critical for the country’s sustainable progress, trade and industries and I urge all stakeholders to work together for its early completion to maximize the benefits to Karachi and Pakistan. This project is being developed under an IPP mode structure, with K-Electric as the single off-taker. KE holds equity share in this IPP whereas CMEC is both an equity partner and EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor. The power project already has an approved tariff from NEPRA, whereas land has also been acquired in Port Qasim area of Karachi for the project. On the occasion of the signing, Zhang Chun, Chairman CMEC lauded Pakistan as a land of opportunities with tremendous economic potential. “We are delighted to be a part of this landmark occasion today and are confident about the role of this power plant in addressing Karachi’s power needs and look forward to increased economic cooperation between China and Pakistan in future as well,” he said. Speaking at the signing ceremony Moonis Alvi, CEO KE said, “The current project is one more in a series of investments from K-Electric to further strengthen the city’s power infrastructure and brings us yet another step closer to our long-term commitment to enable Karachi to fulfill its economic potential. KE has invested more than USD 2.1 Billion in infrastructure upgrades across the energy value chain over the last 9 years and plans to invest USD 3bn over the next few years. We are committed to increase generation as well as to upgrade Karachi’s transmission and distribution network. Our goal is to commission the project at the earliest and we are confident we can do this with the continued support of policy makers and an enabling business environment.” Construction of the plant is expected to commence in the first quarter of next fiscal year. Once the project comes online it will not only help meet the growing power demand in Karachi and its adjoining areas but will also allow KE to diversify its fuel mix. K-Electric is Pakistan’s only vertically integrated and private power utility managing generation, transmission and distribution. As the sole power provider to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi and its adjoining areas with over twenty million inhabitants, KE is committed to serving its customers and powering the country’s economic hub. China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) specializes in the construction of power projects in generation, transmission and distribution and has more than 30 years of experience in the engineering industry with exposure in more than 47 countries. CMEC will be a shareholder as well as the selected engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in this project.