Environmental and Economic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Pakistan’s Energy Sector
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In 2013, China announced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which broadly aims to interconnect over 65 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa through infrastructure investment and economic development. A flagship component of BRI, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has a strong focus on energy infrastructure development. Currently, coal-fired plants constitute half of announced CPEC energy generation projects and 69% of capacity, throwing doubt on the environmentally friendly rhetoric surrounding the BRI initiative. This paper seeks to understand the cost and feasibility of using alternative technologies and a different energy mix as compared to emission-intensive CPEC energy projects. The levelized cost of electricity, CO2 emissions, and SO2 emissions were calculated for current CPEC projects using information gathered from Pakistan generation licenses and tariff documents. Generalized plants, based on current projects and other Pakistan power projects, were then used to build an optimization model around LCOE and emissions under different constraints Model results show that there were more cost effective and less polluting options using large re-gasified liquid natural gas plants and hydro projects. A literature review suggests that political and economic situations originating in China, as well as political factors in Pakistan, contribute to the use of coal over other technologies.
SubjectBelt and Road Initiative
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
CitationReynolds, Carley; Stout, Tara; & Wang, Xiaoguan (2018). Environmental and Economic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Pakistan’s Energy Sector. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16605.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment