A tripartite agreement was signed on 6th July 2020 between the governments of Pakistan and China and a Chinese company for the construction of a 1,124 Megawatt (MW) hydropower project in Kohala worth $2.4 billion. Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing; Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Chairman China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Lt Gen (retd.) Asim Saleem Bajwa; Federal Cabinet Members, and representatives of the Chinese company witnessed the signing ceremony.
$2.4 billion in a single Independent Power Producer (IPP) is the largest power sector investment in the country. Pakistan has the potential to generate electricity from water rather than fuel and coal. The generation of electricity from oil and coal contributes to polluting the air that leads to an unhealthy environment for humans as well as animals. The cost per unit of electricity has moved up because it is produced with imported oil. Hydropower projects in Pakistan will help to reduce the pollution in the country and comparatively will cost at cheaper rates. It was a great step towards foreign investment, and that Pakistan should have invested in the hydropower sector far earlier, said Khan.
With the clear direction of the Prime Minister to expedite the work on CPEC Projects, all parties have worked hard for this day, stated Chairman CPEC Authority. For the residents of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, there will be plenty of job opportunities created under this project. Being built on the Jhelum River in AJK under CPEC, Khola Hydropower Project has been awarded to Kohala Hydropower Company Ltd (KHCL), a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC).