Gwadar local power authority has agreed on the supply of electricity of around 17 MW for Gwadar Free Zone I and Gwadar Free Zone II, promising impetus to economic activities and acceleration of industrialization in Gwadar. A senior official from the local branch of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) conceded to make available 17 MW to both Free Zones in Gwadar. Around 5 MW was sought for Gwadar Free Zone I and 12 MW was requested for Gwadar Free Zone II, Gwadar Pro reported on Sunday. WAPDA is a government-owned authority responsible for regulation, integration, and maintain rapid development and maintenance of water and power resources of the country. In Balochistan, WAPDA works with Quetta Electricity Supply Company (QESCO) which is responsible to distribute and supply of power to all areas including Gwadar. Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) official told Gwadar Pro that China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) held talks with local officials of WAPDA and succeeded in obtaining the minimum required electricity. GPA will take on board both authorities to ensure the supply of 17 MW for both zones. “Usually power cost varies between Rs 28 to Rs. 32 per unit as per normal and peak hours but with intermittent pattern to the private sector. However, for Gwadar Free Zone I and Gwadar Free Zone II, power fare will range between Rs 40 to Rs. 45 in accordance with normal and peak hours as it will be supplied in an uninterrupted manner free from outage like 24 hours,” he disclosed. It is expected that after a formal letter drafted by COPHC in collaboration with GPA lands in the office of Quetta Electricity Supply Company (QESCO), due process to sanction the power supply will take its course as per rules. After the summary is nodded positively, COPHC will have to pay the cost of power distribution lines to be laid down at the allocated sites. A few days back, Government announced to purchase 100 MW of electricity from Iran to meet the power demand in Gwadar. Meanwhile, COPHC proposed to get 50 MW through the installation of IPP power plant in collaboration with Chinese power producers in Gwadar. The basic reason behind the proposal was that for long, Chinese companies have been overstressed by overpriced power production by 8.5 MW generators in Gwadar Free Zone against the backdrop of non-availability of power supply from government. With passage of time, the cost of electricity has ballooned excessively, putting extreme burden on corporate finance. Gwadar Port used to purchase petrol at a cost of Rs. 20.3 million monthly. Chinese companies in Gwadar Free Zone were charged Rs. 49 per unit accordingly, which was very high. “In a new scenario, the monthly purchase cost for Gwadar companies has soared to Rs. 25.5 million. It is more than 25 percent rise,” a COPHC official said. COPHC has proposed that if the government allows relevant terms and conditions conferred to IPPs, COPHC in collaboration with Chinese power producers can generate 50 MW sufficiently. “Chinese IPPs’ power cost will be more affordable. This will not only be a shot in the arms of the already functional enterprises but will also embolden new investors to operate in Gwadar Free Zone with a peaceful mind,” he added. Currently, in Gwadar free Zone, around 51 companies have been registered. Around 10 companies including CBC, H.K. Sons, Agvon, Linyi Trade City, China Ecological Company, China Harbor Engineering Company, Hengmei, Jintai and others are up and running their functions. On the ground, Gwadar is not connected to National Grid so far. As Iran border is just 70 km away, Gwadar is receiving power supply from Iran since long.