Alternate energy: Pakistan’s first solar park rolled out

Published: May 10, 2014

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif unveiling the plaque during the ground breaking ceremony of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park. PHOTO: APP

BAHAWALPUR: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated Pakistan’s first solar power park, which will start generating 100 megawatts of electricity in December this year and by 2016 add 1,000 megawatts to the national grid. The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park project is a joint venture of the government of Punjab, Bank of Punjab and M/s TBEA Ltd of China.

Addressing the ceremony at Islamia University, Bahawalpur, the premier said Pakistan’s biggest problem is power shortage that has pushed the country backwards and adversely affected its agriculture, exports, imports and industries.

The government is committed to ending load-shedding which is why it is ‘working day and night’ to complete new power projects, he said. “Since Pakistan’s creation, 23,000MW of electricity have been produced, while we are planning to add 21,000MW to the system in the next eight years.”

Premier Nawaz said his government would meet the country’s energy needs much before the end of its five-year tenure. Pakistan would not only be able to meets its own requirement but also produce surplus electricity, he claimed.

He also thanked the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan and the president and engineers of TBEA Ltd for providing technical assistance to the largest solar power project of the country.

The Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, with a total investment of $33 billion, is a glaring example of the close friendship between the two countries, he said. The 2,100-kilometre corridor would include special economic zones, a railways system and a model city, airport as well as a free port at Gwadar.

‘Discuss politics over tea’

Commenting on the May 11 planned rally led of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the premier said there was no justification for protests, particularly at a time when the country has embarked on the road to progress and development.

“What is the need of the protest now?” he questioned, and invited those leading the protests to hold talks over a cup of tea. “Come to the Prime Minister House. Talk to me. Have tea or coffee with me, discuss your concerns,” he said addressing the PTI chief and recalled, “I visited you too.”

“Are they against the progress of Pakistan? Are they against the development projects in the country? Are they against the end of corruption, against the declining dollar [exchange] rate and end of load-shedding?”

The prime minister repeatedly stressed on the political parties who have planned the protest rallies to resolve issues amicably via dialogue. He dismissed the allegations of rigging in the general election and asked, “Where did the rigging take place? Was there any rigging in Bahawalpur?”

“‘We will neither play nor let you play’ is not the right approach. You have been playing all your life so exhibit the same sportsman spirit now,” quipped Nawaz.

Imran rejects PM’s offer 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has rejected the prime minister’s invitation for talks, saying that Nawaz Sharif should focus more on solving people’s problems.

According to a private television channel, Imran described the talks offer as ‘uncivilised’ and said the premier should keep his post and stature in mind while making dialogue offers at public gatherings. He reiterated that the PTI is determined to stage its scheduled protest rally against the rigging in the May 11 elections, rampant corruption and rising inflation.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2014.

Reader Comments (13)

  • Safwan
    May 10, 2014 - 4:04AM

    “Commenting on the May 11 planned rally led of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the premier said there was no justification for protests, particularly at a time when the country has embarked on the road to progress and development. What is the need of the protest now? Are they against the progress of Pakistan? Are they against the development projects in the country? Are they against the end of corruption, against the declining dollar [exchange] rate and end of load-shedding?” HAHAHAHA, what a joker.

    Recommend

  • Ahmad
    May 10, 2014 - 4:09AM

    Great Project.. good for the environment, good for people, indeed,,

    Recommend

  • May 10, 2014 - 4:29AM

    Great beginning PM to ease the pain of energy in Pakistan. Pakistan is blessed with lot more sunshine than most other countries. What you don’t see is hurting you instead of helping and its called SOLAR ENEGY. Millions of megawatts of FREE Solar Energy from the Sun is coming down to earth in Pakistan. All it is doing is burning poor workers feet or body instead of being HARNESSED as Solar Energy through the use of now much lower cost and higher performance SOLAR PANELS. Best for Pakistan is to quickly place 100’s of SMALL 50MW or 100MW SOLAR FARMS in small urban or rural areas. The effect on ENEGY INDEPENDENCE will be phenomenal and immediate. Just make sure the entire solar energy system is high quality and maintained professionally. Not #2 or #3 quality where money allocated for each project is mostly pocketed as kickbacks etc. For Pakistan small % of energy through solar is the fasted way and lowest cost today to get energy. Additional energy saving steps can also help.

    Recommend

  • karim
    May 10, 2014 - 4:57AM

    so we cant even produce simple solar electricit whitout chinese dole and chinese aid? So the chinese once again was awarded this project? Did this project went through open global tender with the lowest price? What price did we agree to pay the chinese company who are simply sending the money back to china?

    Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    May 10, 2014 - 6:38AM

    Good look Pakistan may your load shedding problem be over soon as it is very difficult to carry on daily life chores without electricity.

    Recommend

  • Kemal
    May 10, 2014 - 7:06AM

    Nawaz is busy working and leading his government. Imran is making excuses and finding scapegoats. Come on man! Do something positive for a change…

    Recommend

  • Surya
    May 10, 2014 - 8:31AM

    Check the background of TBEA. They have not done anything beyond 10 MW. And guess what, they have a big factory in Gujarat, India.

    Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Khan
    May 10, 2014 - 8:52AM

    It’s a good start.The solar park would play vital role in enhancing power capacity, especially , when the fuel non-availibilit is getting serious every day. Besides it will help reducing enviromental issues.Recommend

  • Kala Khan
    May 10, 2014 - 2:10PM

    The cost of the project is vital to such an article ..otherwise it is a mere essay with no factual information…weak reporting .

    Recommend

  • kamran Khan
    May 10, 2014 - 2:20PM

    it was rolled out because it’s not in corruption party ruled province where projects roll out in files and newspaper ads only as the money keeps rolling into the insatiable pockets of waderas of corruption party

    Recommend

  • nic
    May 10, 2014 - 10:17PM

    @karim: Solar Electricity production is not so simple. Solar panels, Converters, Battery Management Systems (BMS), Circuit breakers, Batteries etc all require sophisticated technology which, unfortunately, are not easily available in Pakistan. We have the potential, but not mature enough manufacturing system + technical know-how. This is a good project, albeit not that preferable, and a step in the right direction. Next major focus should be on improving our country’s power grid.

    Recommend

  • Saeed Ahmed
    May 12, 2014 - 7:20AM

    Positive efforts by the government . We should all appreciate and allow this government to work for five-years .Recommend

  • May 16, 2014 - 8:04PM

    Pakistan needs a lot of projects like this. May this project successful and helful to reduce loadsheding. Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Pakistan