The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is often subject of controversial debates. Something that frequently heats up the minds and ignites political debates are governmental-level bilateral signed BRI-MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding), which not only promise cooperation within the framework of BRI, but also substantiate the legitimacy of the initiative. This was seen only recently, when the Australian state of Victoria decided to sign a MoU with China on the BRI. While some stated that signing this MoU is no big deal as the furor over Victoria’s MoU with China overlooks that – in Beijing’s eyes – the BRI is already at work in Australia, neither federal Labor nor the federal government were amused about Victoria’s solo run.
Located in the desert area of Lal Sohanra, spanning 2,630 hectares with installed flat-panel PV and a total installed capacity of 1,000 MW, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is one of the world‘s largest solar power plant. Being the first utility-scale, grid connected solar power plant of Pakistan, the project consists of three phases (Phase I – 100 MW, Phase II – 300MW and Phase III – 600MW). The Solar Park in the long run is expected to play a critical role in attempting to bridge the supply demand gap that Pakistan is facing.
The UEP Wind Farm is one of five Wind Farms developed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of the Belt and Road Initiative. With an installed capacity of 99 MW it is the largest wind power project developed under CPEC. Like most other wind projects in Pakistan, the UEP Wind Farm is located in Jhimpir, which is part of the so-called “Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor”, a 180 km stretch of coastal land with high wind power production potential.
The Suki Kinari Hydropower Project will be a run-of-the-river hydropower plant located on the Kunhar river in the Kaghan valley with an installed capacity of 870 MW and an annual generation of 2,958 GWh. Already in 1960, this project was proposed and underlined through a feasibility study but could only be finalized in 2016.
The hydropower potential of the Jhelum River was identified by various studies carried out by international agencies. Already the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) proposed the Karot Hydropower Project in 1994. The Karot Hydropower Station in Pakistan is the first investment project of the Silk Road Fund and is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It is a run-of-river concrete-core rock fill gravity dam with an installed capacity of 720 MW. Its is one of five hydropower stations planned to be built on the Jhelum River. The dam is expected to be 95.5m-high and 460m across the Jhelum River.
The Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable project provides 3G and 4G services to Pakistan. The cable spans a distance of 2,950 kilometers, connecting Rawalpindi (Punjab) with Khunjerab (Gilgit Baltistan) at the Chinese border at a height of 4,700 metres above the sea level, northwards to Urumqi in Xinjiang Autonomous Region (China). The 820 km long Pakistan section (Phase 1) is the only Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project under the Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In a second phase, the cable will be further extended to Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan. The project is part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Havelian dry port is being built in the vicinity of Baldhair railway station, about five kilometres from Haripur city and is designed to meet the demand of the containerized future freight traffic between China and Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative. Havelian dry port will be an essential joint in the logistic infrastructure between the northern terminus of the ML-1 railway line (Karachi–Peshawar) and the southern terminus of the upgraded Karakorum Highway coming from the north, linking Pakistan to China.
The Motorway M5 (Multan-Sukkur section) connects Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh province and Multan in the Punjab region. The 392km long stretch, following the Left Bank of River Indus, is part of the Peshawar-Karachi motorway, a key project of the planned China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative.