LAHORE: The provincial government is encouraging multinationals, primarily the Chinese companies, to cooperate in eliminating the energy crisis in Pakistan, creating jobs in the sector besides enhancing cooperation in other industrial segments, said Punjab Minister for Finance Ayesha Ghaus Pasha.
While addressing a seminar on ‘Pakistan Power Crisis - Industry Specific Solutions - Planning, Management, Financing’, organised by the Pakistan-China Energy Forum and NSR Energies on Tuesday, she said the country’s GDP would increase 2% if the energy crisis is eliminated.
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“Punjab government is taking concrete steps to overcome this menace by initiating mega projects in the power sector with the help of Chinese investors,” she added. “The Punjab government is fully facilitating and encouraging foreign investment in the sector which would also increase jobs in the province.”
The minister was of the view that Pakistan had great environmental potential for energy creation and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help the country realise this dream.
She appreciated the role and efforts of the Chinese government in overcoming the energy crisis and the huge investment comprising $36 billion in the power sector development programmes.
Meanwhile, Minister for Mines and Minerals Punjab Sher Ali Khan said his ministry had identified 1,000MW wind power potential in Rajanpur district out of which 250MW project will be commissioned by 2017 while the government is focusing to bring the energy mix at global standards.
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“People are criticising us for coal-based power plants at a time when the global community is moving away from it, but that is not true. The Punjab government is simultaneously working on bringing the energy mix at international standards by finishing the 100MW solar power plant, working on the LNG-based power plant and coal-fired and wind farms.
“The power outages have been reduced to eight hours a day from the 12 to 14 hours and would further reduce in 2017,” he further added. Also present on the occasion, Western Power China Vice President Li Hong, offered Pakistan’s private sector the financing options like Build-Own-Operate (BOO) and Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) for their independent energy requirements.
“We have opportunities for the private sector of Pakistan to present their case and get up to 100% financing for their energy needs”, said Hong.
“If a company has 20% capital for setting up an energy generation plant, the remaining 80% might be lent by the Western Power, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2016.
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