China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)


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The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a collection of projects currently under construction at a cost of $46 billion which is intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure as well as deepen and broaden economic links between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China.


The corridor is considered to be an extension of China’s ambitious proposed 21st century Silk Road initiative, and is considered central to China–Pakistan relations. While economic opportunities and development will largely benefit Pakistan. CPEC's importance to China's geopolitical and economic goals is reflected by the inclusion of the project as part of China's 13th five year development plan.  Should all the planned projects be implemented the value of those projects would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970 and would be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan's 2015 gross domestic product.

Infrastructure projects under the aegis of CPEC will span the length and breadth of Pakistan, and will eventually link the Pakistani city of Gawadar in southwestern to China's northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways. Proposed infrastructure projects are worth approximately $11 billion, and will be financed by heavily-subsidized concessionary loans at an interest rate of 1.6% that will be dispersed to the Government of Pakistan by the Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank & the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.  

Projects in Gwadar Port & City

Gwadar  forms the crux of the CPEC project, as it is envisaged to be the link between China's ambitious One Belt - One Road project and its Maritime Silk Road project. In total more than $1 billion worth of projects are to be developed around the port of Gwadar by December 2017.China will grant Pakistan $230 million in order to construct a new international airport in Gwadar which is to be Operational by December 2017. The provincial government of Balochistan has set aside 4000 acres for the construction of the new $230 Million Gwadar International Airport which will require an estimated 30 months for construction, the costs of which are to be fully funded by grants from the Chinese government which Pakistan will not be obliged to repay. ORT is being constructed in close proximity to both the seaport at Gwadar and to a new 2,282 acre free trade area in Gwadar which is being modeled on the lines of the special economic zones of China. The swathe of land was handed to the China Overseas Port Holding Company in November 2015 as part of a 43-year lease




GPA has been part of all planning and appraisal processes of CPEC programme. For the early harvest / prioritized phase, following projects related to Gwadar Port & Port City of Gwadar have been agreed. These are in different stages of project preparation.

Project Title Executing Agency
Construction of East-Bay Expressway, Gwadar Port GPA
Construction of Breakwaters, Gwadar Port GPA
Dredging of Berthing Areas & Channels, Gwadar Port GPA
Pak-China Technical & Vocational Institute GPA
Infrastructure Development for Free Zone & EPZs, Gwadar EPZA & GIEDA
Necessary Facilities of Fresh Water Treatment, Water Supply GDA
China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital (Up-gradation of existing 50 bedded hospital GDA
Coal-based Power Plant at Gwadar Min of Water & Power
Construction  of Gwadar International Airport  CAA

Railway Infrastructure Projects

The CPEC project emphasizes major upgrades to Pakistan's aging railway system, including rebuilding of the entire Main Line 1 railway between Karachi and Peshawar by 2020. This single railway currently handles 70% of Pakistan Railways traffic. In addition to the Main Line 1 railway upgrades and expansions are slated for the Main Line 2 railway & Main Line 3 railway. The CPEC plan also calls for completion of a rail link over the 4,693 meter high Khunjerab Pass. The railway will provide direct access for Chinese and East Asian goods to Pakistani seaports at Karachi and Gwadar by 2030.

The CPEC plan includes a complete overhaul of the of 1,687 kilometer long Main Line 1 railway (ML-1) between Karachi and Peshawar at an estimated cost of $3.65 billion with expected completion by December 2019.

In addition to upgrading the ML-1 the CPEC project also calls for similar major upgrade on the 1,254 kilometer long Main Line 2 (ML-2) railway between Kotri in Sindh province and Attock in northern Punjab province via the cities of Larkana and Dera Ghazi Khan.

Khunjerab Railway

Longer term projects under CPEC also call for construction of the 682 kilometer long Khunjerab Railway line between the city of Havelian, to the Khunjerab Pass on the Chinese border, with extension to China‘s Lanxin Railway in Kashgar, Xinjiang


"Early Harvest" Energy Projects

As part of the "Early Harvest" scheme of the CPEC, over 10,000 megawatts of electricity are slated for generation by March 2018. Although not officially under the scope of CPEC the 1,223 MW Balloki power plant and the 1,180 MW Bhakki powerplants are also under construction and will complement CPEC's Early Harvest projects while the two hydroelectric projects in the Early Harvest scheme will not be complete until 2020.

"Early Harvest" Energy Projects Capacity Location
Pakistan Port Qasim Power Project. 1,320 MW (2 x 660 MW plants) Sindh
Sahiwal Coal Power Project 1,320 MW (2 x 660 MW plants) Punjab
Rahimyar Khan Coal Power Project 1,320 MW (2 x 660 MW plants) Punjab
Thar SSRL Coal Power Project  & Mine 1,320 MW (2 x 660 MW plants) Sindh
Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park 1,000 MW Punjab
Suki Kinari Hydropower Project 870 MW (expected completion in 2020) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Karot Hydropower Project 720 MW (expected completion in 2020) Punjab
HUBCO coal power project 660 MW Balochistan
Thar Engro Coal Power Project 660 MW (2 x 330 MW plants) Sindh
Gwadar coal power project 300 MW Balochistan
UEP Windfarm 100 MW Sindh
Dawood Windfarm 50 MW Sindh
Sachal Windfarm 50 MW Sindh
Sunnec Windfarm 50 MW Sindh
Matiari to Faisalabad transmission line 660 kilovolt Sindh and Punjab
Matiari to Lahore Transmission Line 660 kilovolt Sindh and Punjab



Hub Power Company (Hubco) is in advanced stages of developing 1320 megawatts coal-fired power plant at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion.



CPEC  - Inauguration of Western Route

PM Nawaz Sharif Inaugurates CPEC Route Zhob N – 50


CPEC - Western Route Alignment

The Western Alignment project will result in the upgrading of several hundred kilometer's worth of road into 2 and 4-lane divided highways by mid-2018 with land acquisition sufficient for upgrading parts of the road to a 6-lane motorway in the future.In total the CPEC project envisages re-construction of 870 kilometers of road in Balochistan province alone as part of the Western Alignment. Of those 870 kilometers of road 620 kilometers have already been rebuilt as of January 2016.The Western Route would pass through Gawadar - Turbat - Hoshab - Panjgur - Besima - Kalat - Quetta - QillaSaifullah - Zhob - Dera Ismail Khan - Mianwali - Attock - Hasanabdal and onwards.



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