KARACHI: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif inspected on Monday the 1,320-megawatt coal-fired Bin Qasim power project and directed that it should be completed by December 2017.
He also asked the Chinese authorities concerned to take steps to make the project completely functional by the December 2017 deadline.
He was briefed that the project costing $1.5 billion would comprise two power houses; each of which would generate 660MW and would be connected to the national grid after completion.
Last year, the PM had laid the foundation of the project which is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme. The Chinese authorities expressed their satisfaction over the security situation and the support given by the government of Pakistan.
They said first tranche of financing worth $200 million had already been released for the project and international standards were being followed during the construction.
Earlier, the prime minister was given a briefing on the projects undertaken by the Port Qasim Authority including the 250 industrial units set up in its allocated zone along with eight operational terminals.
Port Qasim is the most busy and an income-generating port, contributing immensely to the national economy.
An LNG terminal has been made operational at the port within a record period of 11 months, which converts LNG into gas. The government has been working on LNG-based power projects to generate about 3,600MW of electricity.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong and other high officials accompanied the prime minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2015.