Beijing: Amid strains in its ties with the US, Pakistan has asked its all-weather ally China to invest over USD 11 billion in its various energy projects.

Pakistan envisions a Chinese investment of more than USD 11 billion in the energy sector during the next five years, Islamabad's envoy here, Masood Khan, said.

He was speaking at a Road Show held here for management, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the nine public sector thermal power complexes through private sector Operation and Maintenance contractors by Pakistan's Private Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Pakistan's state-run APP news agency reported.

Khan said that a major part of Pak-China economic cooperation is focused  on energy development to be routed though the privatisation of the PPIB which generates 8000 mw of power through different sources.

The first Pakistan-China Joint Energy Working Group (JEWG) meeting held here two months ago has identified a vast array of coal, hydro, thermal and alternate energy projects.

At the JEWG meeting, Pakistan's Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar had proposed 19 new energy projects to China to overcome power crisis, in addition to a host of hydro and nuclear energy projects currently being implemented.

The new proposed projects include four power generation plants of 2,297 megawatts and one coal power project of 405 megawatts.

Besides constructing two nuclear power reactors of 350 mw each at Chashma, China has committed to build two more in addition to a one giga mw nuclear power project, which could only be possible after Beijing fully develops the mega reactors as it cannot export foreign technology which it
currently uses.

Also, China is assisting in three major dams, including USD 13 billion Diamer-Basha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which has a planned capacity of 4500 mw.

India has expressed its reservations to China over projects in the PoK region.

Meanwhile, a Chinese expert has cautioned Beijing about investments in Pakistan, citing risks owing to political and economic uncertainties in that country despite close ties. Hydro and nuclear projects all involve huge, long-term investments and Chinese firms should not underestimate risk
factors like political and economic uncertainties, Wang Jianmao, an economics professor at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai told state-run Global Times daily recently.

"Due to political reasons, Chinese foreign-aid investments tended not to have high returns, but it should not continue to be so, as China is expected to keep diversifying investments for the next 10 to 20 years," Wang said.

Khan said Pakistan invited the Chinese corporation because the two countries enjoy ideal relations.

He said Pakistan's environment is hospitable for Chinese investments and Beijing's corporations have proven competency to take on such portfolios because of their prolonged exposure and experience in Pakistani markets. China is fast emerging as the biggest energy investor in Pakistan and its investments in Pakistan are win-win partnerships, he added.

Hoping for timely investments, he said Pakistan is offering generous incentives through taxation, tariffs and guarantees.