Pakistan courts South Korea for hydro development

Pakistan has as much as 60,000 MW of hydroelectric power potential, according to Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, though the country will need foreign investors to develop its natural resources.

Sources report Pakistan has been courting South Korean financers, with investment opportunities offered in the country's 590-MW Mahal, 840-MW Suki Kinari, 640-MW Azad Pattan, 1,500-MW Chakoti Hattian and hydropower projects.

The Korean investors would serve as engineering, procurement and construction contractors with the International Commercial Bank (ICB) serving as co-financer for some of the proposed projects.

Mukhtar said the Pakistani government would also offer assistance in developing the projects with incentive-based policies, making them attractive investment opportunities.

South Korean investment in Pakistan's power infrastructure has precedent as reported Korean companies had signed memorandums of understanding to develop two plants in December 2012.

Those MOUs will allow for the construction of the 496-MW Lower Spat Gah and 665-MW Lower Palas Valley hydel projects -- both of which will be operated by Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

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