With all formal protocols, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi jointly inaugurated the 100 MW power supply from Iran to Gwadar on May 18. The inauguration took place at a time when Gwadar has been suffering from long power outages in sizzling weather, and it is hoped that with the official activation of the 100 MW Pak-Iran power transmission line, people will finally find relief.
The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of an Iranian delegation, Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto, CM Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, federal ministers, and Balochistan leadership Akhtar Mengal and Khalid Magsi.
Two months ago, the Pakistan-Iran governments informally linked up the 100 MW Iran electricity to the Gwadar Grid station and continuously monitored the technical flow of electricity supply to ensure its functionality. Finally, on May 18, both leaderships unveiled the 100 MW “The Polan-Gabd Electricity Transmission Line” between Iran and Pakistan. The power purchase tariff has already been finalized within the range of 8.4 to 12.4 cents per unit (in dollars). Federal Minister for Power Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan finalized the tariffs during his last visit to Iran two months ago.
The 100 MW power supply will allow for the development of Gwadar port, industry, and the city in the region. Gwadar, located in Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province, has so far relied on power from Iran as it is not connected to the national grid.
To ensure smooth power supply from Iran, new infrastructure has been put in place under the project, including the installation of a double circuit 132 KV transmission line spanning over 29 kilometers from Kalatu (a city in Pakistan) near Gabd-Remdan (Pak-Iran border) to Jiwani Grid Station.
This 29-kilometer link was the missing piece that has now been connected. Several years ago, a double transmission line of approximately 75 kilometers from Jiwani Grid Station to Gwadar Grid Station was already laid down.
In addition to this new power supply line, there is also an old power infrastructure available from another Pak-Iran border near the “Panjgur” area, which is linked to Gwadar and provides around 40-90 MW. However, due to its long distance of approximately 400 kilometers from the Pak-Iran border to Gwadar, power losses, and outages, Gwadar has always struggled for regular and stable power supply.
With the additional 100 MW, Pakistan is currently importing around 200 megawatts of electricity from Iran, and there is the capacity to enhance the import to 500 megawatts. Similarly, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, along with Pak-Iran delegations, inaugurated the Mand-Pishin border sustenance marketplace, which promises to increase cross-border trade, boost economic growth, and create new opportunities for local businesses on both sides. The two leaders also planted a sapling on the premises of the border market as a token of goodwill to deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.