CPEC creating more job opportunities | Pakistan Today

CPEC creating more job opportunities

  • Port Qasim Power Plant set to employ 100 more talented engineers

With the projects launched under the game-changing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) developing at a faster pace, more job opportunities for the educated and unskilled youth of Pakistan are being created even before the completion of the projects.

The good news is the Port Qasim Coal-Fired Power Project is all set to shortlist around 100 talented Pakistani engineers who would be sent to China for their training and skills development.

He Shiyou, the deputy general manager of the Port Qasim Electric Power Company, told Pakistan Today that interviews of Pakistani graduates were held between July 29 and 30 in Karachi where an unprecedented number of young engineers turned up for recruitment.

“An unprecedented 16,000 engineers applied for the jobs at the Port Qasim Project. After screening of these candidates, around 260 young and dynamic engineers were invited to the Port Qasim Coal-Fired Power Project. Of them, around 100 would be selected after tests and interviews,” he added.

Out of the 16,000 applicants, 60 per cent youth applied from Sindh, while 12 per cent came from Punjab, eight per cent from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and six per cent vied for the jobs from Balochistan.

“Another 14 per cent were from other areas, including Gilgit Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Azad Kashmir,” Shiyou said.

According to He Shiyou, around 2,000 Pakistanis are already working on the project and as work on the project would gather pace, hundreds more would join the existing workforce in the next few months.

“We are also considering a second recruitment of 300 technicians and trainees. The project will continue to rope in more local talents, who will be trained, to gradually realise the maximum operation locally,” he said.

He Shiyou said that the Port Qasim power project started its massive construction in May 2015, aiming to achieve the generation of its first unit by the end of 2017. He said that construction process was going on at an extraordinarily fast pace and the company was trying to complete the project ahead of its schedule.

“The steel structure of the main power house, boiler and chimney has reached the top and the operation and maintenance (O&M) preparation works have started. In order to lay a solid foundation for future O&M works, the project sponsor PowerChina starts its Strategic Reserve Talents Schedule, planning to recruit 100 excellent Pakistani graduates in the first stage,” the official said.

Asked about the young engineers, Shiyou said that over 16,000 resumes were received.

“After preliminary selection and subject tests, 259 candidates were invited for interview in Marriott Hotel, Karachi. About 100 graduates will be finally employed and sent to China for a five-month professional training, including practical sessions in the 2×660MW Chongxin Power Project which is invested and being operated by PowerChina,” he said.

Afterwards, these recruits will participate in the key technical works of the commissioning and O&M works of the Port Qasim power project, he added.

Shiyou said the project had directly created over 3,000 job opportunities for Pakistani engineers and labourers during the construction phase and will annually create around 500 training and job opportunities for Pakistanis during its operation period.

Port Qasim is a 2x660MW coal-fired power project and is located in the Port Qasim Industrial Park, 37 kilometres southeast of Karachi. It consists of two units with total gross capacity of 1320 MW (with integrated self-use Jetty) and an average annual energy output of around 9000GWh, designed to support four million families’ power consumption for a year. Fuelled by imported coal, the project adopts the world’s leading supercritical thermal technology.

The environment-friendly operations include seawater desalination and flue gas desulfurisation satisfying the environmental standards of the World Bank.

The generated power will be evacuated through a 180km-long 500KV AC transmission line connecting the project with the national grid. The construction period of the project is 36 months.

“The total investment of the project is approximately $2.085 billion. The ratio of equity is approximately 25 per cent, while the rest will be arranged by the sponsors through debt financing from the Import-Export Bank (EXIM Bank) of China,” said He Shiyou.

“This arrangement does not increase the financial burden on the government of Pakistan. Rather this burden will have to be borne by the companies involved,” he concluded.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    The environment-friendly operations include seawater desalination and flue gas desulfurisation satisfying the environmental standards of the World Bank.

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