As Washington tries to rebuild its strained relationships in Latin America, China is stepping in vigorously, offering countries across the region large amounts of money while they struggle with sharply slowing economies, a plunge in commodity prices and restricted access to credit.

Japan has agreed to provide assistance for three projects, including Karachi Circular Railway project (KCR), sixth secondary transmission and grids project of Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) and New Khanki Barrage. Japan may make formal announcement in the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) meeting scheduled in Tokyo on April 17.

Udhampur: Charging the ruling NC for bartering away natural resources of the state for lust of power, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has called for re-negotiation of power sharing agreements with the NHPC.

Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that the government would facilitate and provide investor friendly environment to the Chinese companies in Pakistan. He said that the Chinese interest to invest in the hydel and wind power generation projects would help meet countrys future power requirements at affordable prices.

The second largest hydro-power project of the country, 70 MW Mid-Marshyangdi has started production in its full capacity during peak hours since last week.

The hydel project is producing 70 to 75 MW electricity for about two to three hours each in mornings and evenings daily by operating both its turbines, reports say.

The government of NWFP is likely to sell the 18-mega watt electricity of the under construction Pehur Hydro Power Project (PHPP), District Swabi to private sector, sources told Business Recorder on Wednesday. The matter had been discussed in a meeting of Provincial Committee on Investment (PCOI), headed by the Chief Minister NWFP.

Australia has drafted laws that mandate the generation of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020 and the government aims to have the legislation passed within months.

The Mandatory Renewable Energy Target legislation aims to expand the target under an earlier scheme to 45,000 GWh by 2020 from 9,500 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2010.

The residents of Erathna area staged a protest in front of a worksite of the proposed private hydro power plant with a capacity of 6.5 kilowatts on the banks of the Kuruganga at Lassakanda.

The plan, expected to be approved by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani soon, contains several suggestions contrary to government policies, like allowing import of second-hand refineries and offering them a tax holiday.

Pakistan and Germany on Friday discussed the possibilities of funding eight ongoing and new hydropower projects worth billions of dollars, official sources told Business Recorder on Friday. These projects came under consideration at a meeting between visiting German Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development Heidemaire Wiegoreak Zeul and Prime Ministers Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin.

Pages