ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (Gwadar Pro) – Development at Rashakai Special Economic Zone of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is near completion, a senior official of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Co. (KPEZDMC) responsible for overseeing the project told Gwadar Pro.
The official, who requested anonymity, said that pipeline to provide 30 million cubic feet of gas per day to the Rashakai SEZ had been completed. Also, work on installation of the smart metering system to allow onward distribution of the amenity is in final stages, he said. The gas pipeline is sufficient for the entire SEZ, he added.
In addition, a 160 megawatts electricity line has reached the SEZ and work on installation of the grid system is underway at fast pace, he said. “We will be able to provide electricity connections to the industrial units by June 2022”, the official said.
He also informed that China’s Century Steel, the first unit being set up at the SEZ, was in machinery installation phase, and could start commercial production by June next year. Moreover, 9 Pakistani firms awarded plots in the SEZ have obtained necessary approvals and will soon start setting up their units in the zone, he said.
Rashakai SEZ is being developed by China Road and Bridge Corp. (CRBC) under a concessional agreement with KPEZDMC. According to an estimate, the SEZ is expected to provide up to 500,000 direct and indirect job opportunities to the locals after full colonisation. The zone is strategically located on Islamabad-Peshawar motorway (M1), with close proximity to China and Afghanistan. The zone is meant for large-scale manufacturing units and is the best placed for the industries in view of the vast market of Central Asian Republics (CARs).
The official further said that works on civil infrastructure including roads and water supply lines was also underway on fast track. The Zone is easily accessible to M1 through Wali Interchange and the Swat Expressway through Col Sher Khan Interchange. The Swat Expressway will intersect CPEC’s Hazara Motorway in Shangla district of KP province to eventually lead to China.