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Pakistan Welcomes Russia's Interest in Its Mega Hydro-Power Projects

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Nomi geologist / Indus river on Karakoram highway
 Indus river on Karakoram highway - Sputnik India, 1920, 24.02.2023
In recent years, Russia has attempted to increase its partnership with Islamabad, with Moscow saying a weak Pakistan would have a weakening influence on its neighboring countries - like a domino effect.
Pakistan has welcomed Russian interest in its forthcoming power projects after Moscow declared its intention to play a key role in developing two of the country's largest hydropower plants which are at present under construction, a local media report said on Friday citing an official.
The 2160 MW Dasu hydropower project, constructed on the Indus river in the Kohistan district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is one of the plants Russia is keen to develop alongside Pakistan. The other one is the 4,500 MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project on the Indus River, in the Diamer district of Pakistan-administered Kashmir's Gilgit-Baltistan region. Russia's Power Machines - an energy systems engineering business - has already offered to supply electro-mechanical material for it.
"Russia made an offer to provide electro-mechanical machinery during the Inter-Governmental Commission meeting in Islamabad on 18 to 20 January," the report quoted a spokesman of Pakistan's Economic Affairs Division (EAD) as saying.
Besides hydropower plants, Pakistan is also interested in cooperating with Russia to build coal-based power units in the Jamshoro district and at the Lakhra coal mine of Sindh province.
As well as joint ventures in construction and modernization, Pakistan is also keen for Russia to finance the projects.
"The parties have highly valued their mutual interest in expanding cooperation in areas such as energy efficiency enhancement and high-tech product and equipment supply," the official added.
Moscow's interest in joining with Islamabad in the power sector comes weeks after Pakistan suffered one of the worst electricity outages last month.
Among the large cities to be affected by the blackout were Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, and the capital Islamabad after the national grid broke down on 23 January.