State Grid of China will build power transmission line in Pakistan

Power transmission line
Power transmission line

State Grid of China will help construct a 4,000 MW power transmission line in Pakistan, in a project expected to cost US$1.5 billion.

The high-capacity transmission line will be the first of its type in Pakistan. It will connect the town of Matiari in the south of the country, which has a nearby power station, to Lahore in the east, the Pakistan government have said. Lahore is a key link in the country’s transmission infrastructure.

The project agreement was signed on 29 December by Shu Yinbiao, chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, and Mohammad Younus Dagha, Pakistan's secretary of water and power, during the Joint Co-operation Committee (JCC) of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) meeting held in Beijing.  

Construction is beginning this month, and should take about 20 months to complete. Pakistan’s power system is frequently subjected to blackouts, which is holding back economic development. Thus the involvement of China is yet another step forward for CPEC.

The CPEC is a combination of power and infrastructure projects that link Western China to Pakistan's Southern port of Gwadar. An agreement for a 300MW power plant has already been signed.

Chinese investors are also active in Karachi, where Shanghai Electric recently acquired the K-Electric power production and distribution company for $1.8 billion.

In the first week of January, a Chinese-led consortium bought a 40 percent stake in the Karachi-based Pakistan Stock Exchange, for an estimated US$85 million. Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and China Financial Futures Exchange, have each taken 10%. Pak-China Investment Company and Habib Bank have taken 5% each.  

This is the first time that Chinese entities have gained control of an exchange in a foreign country.