GIVING further depth to their already strong strategic relationship, Islamabad and Beijing have embarked upon another revolutionary project – the one that will see the interconnection between their two grids. Addressing the Global Energy Interconnection conference in Beijing, Secretary Water and Power Muhammad Younas Dagha said, the two countries are working closely to building an interconnecting electricity grid to utilize each other’s energy potential.
The project is significant one in the sense that it will not only allow Pakistan meet its every growing energy requirements but China will also be able to benefit from the clean energy potential in Pakistan especially the hydroelectric power generation along the Indus River cascade, which is on the route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. In the next five years, the visionary leadership of China plans to invest $31 billion in building power grids in its northwest Province of Xinjing to connect its own eastern regions, Pakistan and central Asian States. It has also signed an MOU with Russia, Korea and Japan to build a massive interconnected grid in Asia. Apart from the One Road One Belt initiative, the Chinese vision to connect different regions through electricity grid speak volume of its serious efforts towards integrating different economies and narrow down the development gaps between different regions. While appreciating the Chinese leaders for taking steps towards this end, it is also time for Pakistan to make efforts towards fully benefitting from this grid connectivity project. At this point of time and may be in the next two years, we will not have surplus energy to contribute to the grid but given the untapped potential the country has especially its 60,000 megawatt hydroelectric and 90,000 megawatt wind, we can became an important player in supplying electricity to the regional countries and earn valuable foreign exchange. Pakistan can seek cooperation from friendly countries like China to realize the goal. This is an opportunity that is knocking at Pakistan’s door and we should not miss it at any cost.