Qatar had shown interest in a couple of upcoming projects, but was not immediately forthcoming with interest in small dams because such schemes were more of socio-economic importance with limited financial feasibility.— File (Photo)
ISLAMABAD: With lending from multilateral institutions declining, the government has stepped up efforts to attract bilateral funding for implementation of major infrastructure projects, particularly in the water and power sector.
According to sources, a portfolio of 10 water and power projects has been prepared to attract investments from friendly countries.
Details of the $29 billion projects were presented to the government and investors from Qatar during Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s visit to Doha last month and at a joint ministerial commission meeting held here later.
The sources said on Sunday the government had requested Qatar to invest in major water projects and encourage its private companies and lending agencies to provide funds for some of the schemes and prepare for participating in bidding when they were offered in the coming months.
The portfolio of projects include the $12 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam, $700 million Kurram Tangi Dam, $1.4 billion Munda Dam, $700 million Nai Gaj Dam, $170 million Naulong Dam, $300 million Hingol Dam, $650 million Chashma Right Bank Canal (lift-cum-gravity) Project, $6 billion each for Thakot and Pattan Hydropower Projects and $2 billion Dudhnial Hydropower Project.
The sources said Qatar had shown interest in a couple of upcoming projects, including Diamer-Bhasha, and at least three hydropower projects but was not immediately forthcoming with interest in small dams because such schemes were more of socio-economic importance with limited financial feasibility.
The Qatar government and its lending agencies have shown willingness to fund the Thakot, Pattan and Dudhnial hydropower and Munda Dam projects.
The cost of these projects is estimated at about $27 billion and Pakistan is expecting a part of the funding from Qatar.
The Diamer-Bhasha Dam will have a water storage capacity of 6.4 million acre-feet and power generation capacity of 4,500 megawatts. The Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank are willing to be part of the project that has been unanimously cleared by the Council for Common Interests.
The Thakot, Pattan, Dudhnial and Munda projects have total power generation capacity of 7,300MW.
The Thakot hydropower project will be built on the Indus, about 3km downstream Besham, while its powerhouse will be located about 18km downstream of Thakot bridge. It will have an installed capacity of 2,800MW.
The Pattan project, also of 2,800MW, will be built on the Indus about 4km upstream of Pattan village. Four firms have submitted technical and financial proposals to conduct the feasibility study of the project in two years.
Dudhnial project, to be built on Neelum river in Azad Kashmir, is estimated to generate 960MW.
The Munda Dam is proposed to be constructed on Swat river with a capacity of 740MW. The government has appointed consultants for detailed engineering design and preparation of tender documents.
The sources said the Qatar government, agencies and investors did not show interest in Kurram Tangi, Nai Gaj, Naulong, Hingol and Chashma projects because of unattractive expected return on investment.
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