Gwadar Port has been partially operational since 2007.
Gwadar forms the crux of the CPEC project, as it is envisaged to be the link between China’s ambitious One Belt, One Roadproject, and its Maritime Silk Road project. In total, more than $1 billion worth of projects are to be developed around the port of Gwadar by December 2017.
China will grant Pakistan $230 million to construct a new international airport in Gwadar which is to be operational by December 2017.The provincial government of Balochistan has set aside 4000 acres for the construction of the new $230 million Gwadar International Airport which will require an estimated 30 months for construction, the costs of which are to be fully funded by grants from the Chinese government which Pakistan will not be obliged to repay.
The city of Gwadar is further being developed by the construction of a 300MW coal power plant, a desalinisation plant, and a new 300 bed hospital.Plans for Gwadar city also include construction of the East Bay Expressway – a 19 kilometre controlled-access road that will connect Gwadar Port to the Makran Coastal Highway.These additional projects are estimated to cost $800 million, and are to be financed by 0% interest loans extended by the Exim Bank of China to Pakistan.
In addition to the aforementioned infrastructure works, the Pakistani government announced in September 2015 its intention to establish a training institute namedPak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar, which is to be developed by the Gwadar Port Authority. The institute is to be completed by March 2016 at the cost of 943 million rupees,and is designed to impart to local residents the skills required to operate and work at the expanded Gwadar Port.
The CPEC project envisages major upgrades and overhauls to Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure. Under the CPEC project, China has announced financing for $10.63 billion worth of transportation infrastructure so far; $6.1 billion have been allocated for construction “Early Harvest” roadway projects at an interest rate of 1.6 percent.The remainder of funds will be allocated when the Pakistani government awards contracts for construction of road segments which are still in the planning phase.
Highlighted in red is the route of National Highway 35, which is to be completely rebuilt and upgraded under the CPEC agreement. Highlighted in blue is the 175 kilometre road between Gilgit and Skardu which is to be upgraded to a 4-lane highway.
The 184 kilometre long M-4 Motorway between Faisalabad and Multan does not fall under the scope of CPEC projects, but is nevertheless considered vital to the CPEC transportation project. It will instead be financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and will be the first project jointly financed by those banks.Further funding comes from an additional $90.7 million grant announced in October 2015 by the government of the United Kingdom towards the construction of portion of the M4 Motorway project.
The Karakoram Highway south of the city of Mansehra will also be upgrade into a controlled-access highway to officially be known as the E-35 expressway. While it is considered to be a crucial part of the route between Gwadar and China, the E35 will not be financed by CPEC funds. The project will instead be financed by the Asian Development Bank with a $121.6 million grant from the United Kingdom towards the project.Once completed, the E35 Expressway, the M4 Motorway, and Karachi-Lahore Motorway will provide continuous high-speed road travel on controlled-access motorways from Mansehra to Karachi – 1,550 kilometres away.
The first phase of the expedited project will focus on upgrading the Multan to Peshawar section, which will then be followed by the Hyderabad to Multan section, and finally by the Hyderabad to Karachi section.
ORANGE LINE METRO
The $1.6 billion Orange Line of the Lahore Metro is under construction and is regarded as a commercial project under CPEC.Construction on the line has already begun, with planned completion by Winter 2017. The line will be 27.1-kilometre (16.8 mi) long, of which 25.4 kilometres (15.8 mi) will be elevated, with the remaining portion to be underground between Jain Mandir and Lakshmi Chowk. When complete, the project will have the capacity to transport 250,000 commuters per day, with plans to increase capacity to 500,000 commuters per day by 2025.
The proposed route of theKhunjerab Railway is indicated by the brown line.
Longer term projects under CPEC also call for construction of the 682 kilometre long Khunjerab Railway line between the city of Havelian, to the Khunjerab Pass on the Chinese border, with extension to China’s Lanxin Railway in Kashgar, Xinjiang. The railway will roughly parallel the Karakoram Highway, and is expected to be complete in 2030.
The cost of the entire project is estimated to be approximately $12 billion, and will require 5 years for completion. A 300 million rupee study to establish final feasibility of constructing the rail line between Havelian and the Chinese border is already underway. A preliminary feasibility study was completed in 2008 by the Austrian engineering firm TBAC.
Pakistan’s current energy generating capacity is 24,830 MW, though the country currently faces energy shortfalls of over 4,500MW on a regular basiswith routine power cuts of up to 5 hours per day, which has shed an estimated 2–2.5% off its annual GDP.Energy generation will be a major focus of the CPEC project, with approximately $33 billion expected to be invested in this sector.As part of the “Early Harvest” scheme of the CPEC, an estimated 10,400 MW of electricity are slated for generation by March 2018 as part of CPEC’s “Early Harvest” projects.
The energy projects under CPEC will be constructed by private Independent Power Producers, rather than by the governments of either China or Pakistan. The Exim Bank of China will finance these private investments at 5–6% interest rates, while the government of Pakistan will be contractually obliged to purchase electricity from those firms at pre-negotiated rates.
Liquefied natural gas power LNG projects are also considered vital to CPEC. The Chinese government has announced its intention to build a $2.5 billion 711 kilometer long liquid natural gas pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah in province as part of CPEC. The pipeline is designed to be a part of the 2,775 kilometer long Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline, with the 80 kilometer portion between Gwadar and the Iranian border to be connected when sanctions against Tehran are eased; Iran has already completed a 900 kilometer long portion of the pipeline on its side of the border.
The Pakistani portion of the pipeline is to be constructed by the state-owned China Petroleum Pipelines Bureau. It will be 42 inches in diameter, and have the capacity to transport 1 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas every day, with an additional 500 million cubic feet of additional capacity when the planned off-shore LNG terminal is also completed The project will not only provide gas exporters with access to the Pakistani market, but will also allow China to secure a route for its own imports.
Other LNG projects are currently under construction with Chinese assistance and financing that will augment the scope of CPEC, but are neither funded by nor officially considered a part of CPEC. The 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant is currently under construction near Kasur, and is being constructed by China’s Harbin Electric Company with financing from the China’s EXIM bank, is one such example. In October 2015, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also inaugurated construction of the 1,180MW Bhikki Power Plant near Sheikhupura, which is to be jointly constructed by China’s Harbin Electric Company and General Electric from the United States. It is expected to be Pakistan’s most efficient power plant, and will provide enough power for an estimated 6 million homes.
THE FUTURE OF GWADAR
AN ADDITION OF A BRIGHT CHAPTER
The Gwadar Port is one of the two or three Deep-Sea ports of South Asia or the World. Gwadar is a port of deep waters and it is its great virtue. It entails more capacity than that of Karachi as well as Port Qasim and a ship of DWT3500 volume has been anchored here. A Mother vessel that weighs almost five lac tones can be anchored here easily. This area will prove to be the busiest centre for import & export of Central Asian countries, Gulf States, Afghanistan and China. That is why investors from across the world especially China are offering huge projects of heavy investment. It is being anticipated by the experts that the GDP rate of Pakistan shall rise up by 50% courtesy Gwadar Port shortly.
Besides, international and domestic airport has been built at Gwadar. Gwadar International Airport will get the status of the biggest airport of the country. A 653Km long modern and spacious Makran Coastal Highway along the coast of Gwadar has been completed. The salient features of this port are as follow:-
- Construction of 3 multipurpose berths
- Construction of a 4.5 km long approach channel
- Construction of a 100 meter long service berth
- Export of minerals and livestock on a vast scale
- Construction of trans-shipment center
- Construction of PC Hotel on the Koh-e-Batil for the tourists is complete whereas the construction of the remaining hotels is underway.
- Oil refineries and petrol chemical complex
- Access to central Asian countries through Highways and railway
- Setting up vast industrial zones and export processing zones
GWADAR—WHATEVER EXISTS IN THE WORLD—EXISTS HERE
TChina is also setting up an atomic power house of 600MW on the Makran Coast as well as nuclear hydrology complex that could meet all the water and power needs of Gwadar. A 910-Km long railway line shall be laid from Mastung or Nushki and Dilbadin to Gwadar at a cost of Rs.180.2 million. The project has been launched and shall be completed by 2018. Gwadar shall be linked to the national railway network owing to this project. The Government of Pakistan with a huge financial assistance of Oman has completed the project of 1000-bed centrally air-conditioned hospital.
GWADAR HAS GOT THE STATUS OF A GIFT FOR THE WHOLE OF PAKISTAN AND A GAME CHANGER IN THE REGION
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
The prime minister of Pakistan foresees an important role of Gwadar in growth of foreign exchange reserves and economy of Pakistan in the near future. To him, Gwadar should be declared a duty free port. In this connection, in his address to the National Assembly he has urged upon all the political leaders to have consensus on this issue and devise a comprehensive policy to achieve this goal.
GWADAR PORT: AN ERA OF NEW DIMENSIONS
Gwadar Port is to be built in two phases and after completion of Phase I, it was formally inaugurated on March 20, 2007. Construction work of Phase II is in full swing and it will see light of the day within the next few years. As per the agreement inked during the previous government, supervision of all the matters of the Gwadar Port is being done by China.
IRAN AND TRADE OPPORTUNITIES
The work on the agreement by Iran to supply gas to the Makran Coast, in particular Gwadar, has been completed. Iran has also expressed interest in setting up an oil refinery with the capacity of producing 400,000 barrels per day at a cost of $4 Billion dollars in Gwadar. Iran has also completed the gas pipeline to supply gas up to Gwadar whereas the construction work on the pipeline to be completed by Pakistan is also being started.