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Feasibility Study of Upgrading Mainline-1 and Establishment of Havelian Dry Port
Special Report on CPEC Projects (Transportation Infrastructure: Part 1)
2018/10/01

1. Brief introduction

Mainline-1(ML-1) starts from Karachi and ends at Peshawar, passing through Rohri, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi, with a total length of 1817km.

In May 2015, National Railway Administration of China and Ministry of Railways of Pakistan signed the Framework Agreement on joint feasibility study of upgrading ML-1 and establishment of Havelian dry port. The study will be funded by Pakistan government with an investment of USD 6 million.

Subsequently, China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co,. Ltd. (CREEC) and Pakistani side signed a contract for consultancy services between Pakistan Railways and a joint venture comprising CREEC (lead partner) and NESPAK and PRACS (partners) for this project.

Upgradation of ML-1 is planned to be implemented in three phases, with an estimated investment of over USD 13 billion. The Chinese side will provide financing support with favorable terms. The contract value of phase one is around USD 3 billion. Sub-projects of phase one, include up-gradation of Multan-Lahore section (339km) to 160km/h, up-gradation and construction of second line of Rawalpindi-Peshawar section (159km) to 120km/h, and overhauling of Nawabshah-Rohri section (183kms), excluding grade separation and fencing.

Due to huge investment of ML-1, the feasibility study of ML-1 and establishment of Havelian dry port was listed as a prioritized/early harvest project under CPEC. The sub-projects of ML-1 will be implemented as short, medium or long term projects under CPEC.

2. Latest progress

The feasibility study report was completed in July, 2016. This is the first early harvest project completed under CPEC. Until now, preliminary design of phase one has been completed by CREEC.

In May 2017, under witness by Prime Minister of China and Pakistan, framework agreement on upgradation of ML-1 and established of Havelian dry port was signed between National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Planning , Development and Reform.

3. Corporate contribution

1) Convenient and low-cost transportation

70 percent of the population and cities are spread along the ML-1. The completion of this project will provide convenient and low-cost transportation for cargo and passengers

2) Improvement of energy shortage, creating job opportunities and protecting environment

After the completion of this project, bulky cargos like energy efficiently sources, construction materials and machinery can be transported through railway, and the problem of coal transportation can be solved. Additionally, a number of industrial parks will be set up soon, and numerous job opportunities will benefit from the ML-1. Compared with road transportation, railway transportation is more environment friendly, and air pollution will be better controlled.

3) Improvement of railway system

Advanced technology, equipment and management skills will be brought to Pakistan through implementation of this project, which will improve the management and organization capacity of Pakistan railways.

(Xiang Zhimin, Representative, Up-gradation of ML-1 and Establishment of Havelian Dry Port)

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