ISLAMABAD – Three Chinese experts groups are arriving Pakistan in March for preparation and early kick off of CPEC Industrial Zones, review energy project progress and explore the way forward in oil and gas sector.
The experts groups, working under Joint Working Groups, that are arriving in March includes industrial experts, experts of energy group and sub-group on oil & gas sector, official source told The Nation here Wednesday.
The source said that the energy experts will review the progress on the CPEC energy projects and will also discuss the inclusion of new hydropower projects in the CPEC portfolio. The hydro projects located in AJK, GB and KP will be the main focus of the experts’ interaction, the source added.
Regarding the industrial expert group the source said that their main focus will be the industrial cooperation particularly in the Special Economic Zones(SEZs).
The SEZs will be developed in phases and in the first phase the economic zones of Sindh, Punjab and KP will be developed. However , the source said, that now the federal government has also accelerated work on its economic zones which is also likely be discussed with Chinese experts.
Chinese Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are showing interest in the SEZs which is encouraging and will help the early completion of SEZs, the source said. Under CPEC China and Pakistan have agreed to establish nine SEZs throughout Pakistan.
The third group is a sub-group on oil and gas, of the main Joint Working Group on Energy, is coming to Pakistan to further explore ways for the oil and gas cooperation between the two countries under CPEC.
In July last year Pakistan and China agreed to establish an oil and gas sub-group under the Energy Working Group (EWG) aimed at facilitating the existing and future oil and gas sector projects.
Later on, oil and gas was incorporated in the CPEC Long Term Plan (LTP).
Earlier under the Short and Medium Term Plan of CPEC China was developing energy projects in Pakistan which was further expended under LTP.
As per the LTP “China and Pakistan should strengthen cooperation in the electricity and power grids, and focus on promoting the construction of major projects of Thermal power and renewable power generation, and thermal power, hydropower, coal gasification, supporting power transmission networks, in order to enhance its power transmission and supply reliability.
The experts from both countries will explore the possibilities of setting up refineries, storages and oil and gas pipelines along the CPEC route.
“We want cooperation in oil and gas sector in a way to make it win win situation for both the countries,” the source said. The source said that investment in the oil and gas sector will further enhance the CPEC portfolio.
It is pertinent to mention here that separately the government of Pakistan is planning to develop a mega oil city at Gwadar under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and 80,000 acres of land is being acquired for the purpose.