Foreign Investors Show Interest in Two LNG-Fired Power Plants Worth $2Bln

DESPARDES — The government has reportedly received statements of qualification (SOQs) from three foreign parties for the sale of two power plants worth $2 billion.

These Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) based plants are located at Balloki (1233MW) and Haveli Bahadur Shah (1230MW) in Punjab.

SOQs received so far — before the January 17 deadline –were submitted by investors from Malaysia, Thailand and Japan.

Applications from China, Qatar and the UAE could not be ruled out by the deadline, informed sources told Dawn.

Officials said the authorities were targeting to hold bidding for the two plants before end of March and windup the transactions before the close of fiscal year on June 30, 2020.

The development comes as the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) met on Tuesday with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh heading the meeting.

The government has given an undertaking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finalize the privatization process of these plants by end-FY 2020.

According to reports, the PTI-led government has planned to privatize 20 public sector entities in the first phase of its privatization program. The privatization of loss-making Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has not been included in the first phase but Pakistan Steel Mills and two LNG based power plants are included.

The two plants envisage about 16pc dollar based internal return on equity under a tariff approved by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) at debt-equity ratio of 70-30.