Pakistan, UAE sign $2.5b power production deal

ISLAMABAD - Energy-strapped Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday signed a $2.5 billion agreement for production of 1,320 MW electricity from coal here.

The agreement has been signed between Dubai-based state-owned Arab National Company and Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), a subsidiary of Pakistan’s water and power ministry, at a ceremony also attended by Pakistan`s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who termed the agreement "a milestone in the path towards energy self-reliance."

According to the agreement, the ANC will set up two coal power plants with a capacity of 660 MW each in the coastal town of Gadani, some 60 Kilometers off the port city of Karachi.

The company will also construct a jetty along with the construction of the power projects.

"The project will bring in approximately $2.5 billion investment in Pakistan, and will be completed in three years," Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawa Asif told reporters at the ceremony.

The agreement is aimed at overcoming a simmering energy crisis that has crumbled the already shaky economy of this South Asian nuclear Muslim state.

Prime Minister Sharif said his government had taken bold initiatives to address the energy crisis, which he said was a must to improve the country’s economy.

Pakistan has the 7th largest country coal reserves in the world with 186 billion tons. Almost all of those reserves are found in the southern desert area of Thar.

Currently, the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and the UAE is around $9 billion.

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