Regions agree to open Pakistan hydro power projects up to foreign investors

Pakistan hydro power: Pakistan’s regional authorities this week unanimously agreed to invite foreign companies to take over the construction of its planned network of  hydroelectric ‘mega projects’, including the mammoth Diamer Bhasha dam, after receiving a lukewarm response from the development banking community for help with their financing.
Private investors, many of whom are expected to be Chinese,  will be offered  tax exemptions during the  construction phase of each project as well as income tax holidays for the first five years of operation.
According to the Chairman of the country’s  Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda)  Zafar Mahmood, the decision was taking at a high-level meeting yesterday where several provinces and regions also called for ownership of the projects to be transferred back at the end of a  30-year lease period and some demanded an increase in their share of profits and tariffs.
The move is the government’s latest attempt to address the  chronic power shortage that is increasingly hampering economic growth and which began in 2014 when it announced that it was planning to use a series of hydroelectric power projects ranging in size from 10 to 1,000 MW to add 13,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid system. Pakistan currently generates about 14,000 MW of power, but demand is 18,000 MW, surging to 20,000 MW in summer months with an increase in the use of air conditioning.

Source: tribune