Beijing, July 04, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) met at the Prime Minister’s Office with the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in the chair and approved five projects amounting to Rs.1303.0 billion.
These include K-I and K-II Nuclear Projects situated in Karachi (Province Sindh, generation capacity 2200 MW, cost Rs.958729.0 million) Nandipur (Province Punjab, generation capacity 425 MW, cost Rs.57380 million), Neelum-Jhelum hydro electric project (AJK, generation capacity 969 MW, cost Rs.274.0 billion).
In his opening remarks, Senator Ishaq Dar said that ECNEC is a premier constitutional body where all projects amounting to more than one billion are approved. The Minister said that the previous practice had been that anticipatory approvals were given by the Finance Minister for approval of projects, a discretion that he would like to dispense with and would like every project to be discussed in this forum before it is approved. The Minister said that this would mean that more frequent meetings of ECNEC would be held.
Finance Minister said that finances for all the approved projects should be timely arranged and their monitoring would be carried out regularly so that they do not suffer or delayed from want of resources. The projects should be completed on schedule so that its benefits and value for the money are achieved.
Finance Minister said that the government had taken a bold decision to settle the circular debt which stood at Rs.503 billion and has already paid Rs.322 billion to private power producers while the remaining would be settled within announced time.
This measure would add 1700MW of electricity to the national grid. The IPPs have been mandated to use coal instead of oil and bring about the change in the next 18 months which will bring down the average cost of power production.
Mr. Ishaq Dar said that today’s meeting is important because we are taking up energy projects with the total generation capacity of 3511MW which when completed would not only be a substantial addition to the national grid but also produce electricity at low cost. The Minister said that 15 years back the energy mix was 75% based on cheap fuel and 25% on costly oil whereas it has now totally changed to 25% based on cheap fuel and 75% on furnace oil.
Mr. Ishaq Dar informed the participants that the Prime Minister had decided that future energy projects should be undertaken with the view that they can be completed within the shortest possible time and produce power at low cost.
While discussing the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project which has been approved at revised cost of Rs.274.0 billion against the previous cost of Rs.84.0 billion, the meeting decided that a probe into the huge cost overrun and delay in the project should be made and submitted so that responsibility can be fixed. Similarly, the Ministry of Water and Power was also directed that the transmission lines should be completed in tandum with the project.
The project would generate 969MW power by constructing a concrete gravity dam on Neelum River at Nauseri District Muzaffarabad. Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Project will help generation of cheap electricity for people as envisioned by Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.
A Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) of nearly 425-525MW capacity comprising of 3(03) NOS gas turbines and 1(01 NO) original cost of Rs.22,335 million are revised and approved steam turbine unit at the existing site of Nandipur small hydle power station where sufficient land and infrastructure is available was also approved by the ECNEC. The project is proposed to be funded from PSDP/GENCO’s own resources.
The ECNEC approved Karachi Costal Power Project (Unit-I and II), with the generation capacity of 2117 MW each. The total cost of Karachi Costal Power Project (Unit-I and II) is estimated Rs.958,729.0 million. This project located in Karachi, Sindh would go a long way in meeting the uninterrupted energy requirement of the south of the country.
The ECNEC approved the project of Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS) located in Sindh and Punjab with cost of Rs.19695.0 million. The Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite project is part of National Satellite Development Programme for space technology and its application will be in Pakistan, institutional capacity building of SUPARCO and relevant organizations. PRSS will carry optical pay load that will produce high resolution earth images with stereo capabilities. The image quality produced by PRSS system shall be in accordance with defined international standard.
The ECNEC approved the addition of 3rd, 4th and 5th lanes to Kashmir Highway from Peshawar More to GT Road (including construction of new bridge for additional carriage way) Islamabad. The revised project envisages rehabilitation/improvement of existing two lanes (Flexible pavement) and addition of one more flexible pavement as 3rd lane and an addition of two rigid pavements as 4thand 5th lanes (each 3.65m wide) on northern and southern carriage way of Kashmir Highway between Peshawar More and GT Road measuring 11km. The revised PC-I cost for the project is Rs.4689.0 million against original cost of Rs.2191.0 million.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Minister for National Food Security, Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Chairman WAPDA, representatives of all four provinces and heads of different departments.
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