Powering investment opportunities in energy generation

President Musharraf is boosting international interest in the power sector.

Water and power are the two basic necessities for improving the quality of life of the people and sustaining economic development in Pakistan. Consumption of water and energy in a country is a measure of its prosperity; the more a country progresses, the larger the need for water and power. Foreseeing the expected shortages in electricity due to rapid industrial growth, Pakistan’s government took prompt measures to expand power generation capacity. The task of setting up new power projects has been entrusted to the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB). It works as a one-stop shop for private investors on behalf of all government bodies and benefits from a significant representation of the private sector on its governing board.
In order to facilitate the private sector and eliminate the concerns over red tape, the government has shortened and simplified the procedures for implementation of policy measures, making them more investor friendly and convenient to follow.
These efforts have resulted in a tremendous response from private investors. It is expected that projects having cumulative capacity of 8,381MW and an estimated worth of over $8 billion will materialize.

The projects, which are expected to bring foreign investment worth over $3.5 billion, include seven based on gas, six based on hydroelectricity, two on coal and one on indigenous oil. Moreover, there are another five projects that are being considered by PPIB.

The government adopted an aggressive marketing strategy to attract serious and credible foreign and local investors to build new power projects. PPIB and the Pakistan government organized two road shows at Dubai and London to market power generation projects. These shows were very well received by prominent investors, lenders, consultants, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers as well as financial advisors.

The initial response has been very encouraging. Various investors and international power players from different countries including the U.S., Japan, China and the UAE have shown a great interest in developing the Faisalabad, Kashmore, and Chichoki Mallian plants.

The government has also offered opportunities for investment in seven hydroelectric and three coal-fueled power projects.