BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The Silk Road Fund, China Three Gorges Corporation and the Private Power and Infrastructure Board of Pakistan signed an MOU on Monday over jointly developing hydropower in Pakistan, said a Chinese official on Monday.
The investment into the 1.65-billion-U.S.dollar Karot hydropower project in Pakistan marks the first investment from the 40 billion U.S. dollar fund since its establishment last year, said the unamed official in charge of the Silk Road Fund in a posting on China's central bank website.
The Karot hydropower project has a designed installed capacity of 720,000 kw and generates power of 3.213 billion kw-hours each year. Construction will begin at the end of this year and the project is expected to put in use in 2020, according to the official.
The Silk Road Fund will provide capital for the project through investing in a subsidiary of the China Three Gorges Corporation that focuses on developing clean-energy projects in South Asian countries. The fund will also join the Export-Import Bank of China, one of China's major policy lenders, and other financial institutions to extend loans for the project, the official said.
The fund, along with other investors including China Three Gorges Corporation, will further invest in hydropower projects in the region with a combined power generating capacity up to 3,350 megawatts to improve power supply and benefit economic growth in Pakistan.
The official said the investment decision is made in line with the fund's "professional, prudent and unified criteria" as it has reviewed the feasibility of the project, gauged its economic and social impact and ensured it meets the international standards.
The Silk Road Fund will actively expand financing opportunities for other projects under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, said a joint statement issued by the two countries on Monday, adding that the fund will play a key role in supporting the implementation of China's Belt and Road Initiative.