Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sayed Yousuf Raza Gilani, has finally cleared the bailout package for restoring the Rs. 29 billion Nandipur Thermal Power Project, whose abandoned machinery has been rusting at the Karachi port for the
past 18 months.
The 425 megawatt project has been badly victimised by the legal bickering of the law ministry and the ministry of water and power. Despite of extremely dreadful load shedding problem across the country, the Nandipur Thermal Power
Project has been suffering delay for more than two years now. It is anticipated that the prolonged cut-offs in electricity will be smoothened out to significant level once the Nandipur project starts operating.
A senior government official told that Prime Minister Gilani cleared the bailout package during a special meeting called on Monday last week. It was due to the pressure put on the government by the opposition leaders of PML-N,
who accused the Prime Minister of deliberately delaying the Nandipur power project to cause power shortfalls in Punjab. PML-N was of the view that the province of Punjab is under its rule and the federal government was holding-up this urgently needed project
intentionally to exacerbate the load shedding problems and cause unrest in the region.
65 per cent of the construction work had been completed when the project was abandoned by the Chinese contractor, who demobilised workers and machines from the site two years ago. The government official further told that Prime
Minister Gilani has instructed the Ministry of Water and Power to submit a financial plan for formal approval before the next cabinet meeting. The ministry was asked to remove all the impediments which have jammed the implementation of the power project, as
it is also threatening the friendly relationships with China.
Gilani desires the Ministry of Finance to suggest the banking consortium, which is led by the Habib Bank and the National Bank, to extend the date of the letter of credit up to 1st September 2012. He wants the banks
to release the withheld amount of Rs. 7 billion so that the Nandipur Thermal Power Project could be started once again.