In the Thatta district of southern Pakistan’s Sindh province, more than 100 wind turbines signify the progress achieved under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship initiative of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Launched in 2013, CPEC has been instrumental in fostering economic cooperation and development between China and Pakistan. Chief Representative of PowerChina in Pakistan, Yang Jianduo, provided insights into the success of the wind power projects, emphasizing their positive impact on local communities and the environment.
Wind power projects
PowerChina’s wind power projects in Thatta, boasting a total installed capacity of 610 MW, play a vital role in providing green energy to rural households. According to Yang Jianduo, these projects have created over 20,000 jobs for locals and are projected to contribute 2 billion kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, resulting in a substantial reduction of 2 million tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions.
Hassan Daud Butt, a senior advisor at the China Study Center of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, highlighted the achievements of CPEC by the end of 2022. The corridor has attracted a direct investment of 25.4 billion U.S. dollars to Pakistan, generated 236,000 jobs, and significantly contributed to infrastructure development. Notable accomplishments include the addition of 510 kilometers of expressways and 8,000 megawatts of power supply.
In Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, construction is underway for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam on the River Indus. As a symbol of China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation, this dam, upon completion, is set to be the world’s tallest roller compact concrete dam, with an installed capacity of 4.5 million kilowatts. Tabi Satti, a project manager who returned to Pakistan after studying and working in China, attests to the transformative impact of CPEC on his hometown.
Broader development opportunities
The success of CPEC extends beyond individual projects, offering broader development opportunities for Pakistan. The imminent operationalization of the New Gwadar International Airport and Gwadar East-Bay Expressway, ongoing investments in the Rashakai special economic zone (SEZ), and the positive influence of China’s hybrid rice on Pakistan’s crop yield showcase the diverse benefits of this collaborative initiative.
As CPEC commemorates its tenth anniversary, it stands as a testament to successful international cooperation, achieving significant milestones in Pakistan’s economic development. The collaboration has not only realized critical infrastructure projects but has also created jobs, improved living standards, and contributed to environmental sustainability. The ongoing and upcoming initiatives under CPEC signal a promising future for the continued growth and prosperity of Pakistan, affirming the enduring partnership between China and Pakistan.
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