Japan expresses interest in Lakhra coal projects

Has already worked on important power schemes in Pakistan

Our Correspondent June 07, 2016
Pakistan wanted to take full advantage of Italian expertise in utilising renewable energy resources. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Japan has offered investment in Lakhra coal projects while expressing satisfaction over the current cooperation between the two countries.

“Japanese companies are interested in Lakhra coal projects and they will participate in the process,” said Japanese Ambassador Takashi Kurai while talking to Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday.

Asif told the ambassador that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) had been the main development partner of the Ministry of Water and Power in many power projects. Jica has worked on important projects like digitalisation of data and feasibility studies of coal projects.

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“Pakistan and Japan enjoy cordial relations and the multi-dimensional cooperation has been the strength of deep relations between the two countries. A lot of Pakistanis in Japan are associated with the old car business,” he said.

Secretary Water and Power Mohammad Younus Dagha apprised the Japanese envoy of the Jamshoro coal project which could be of benefit to the Japanese companies.

In a separate meeting with Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo, the water and power minister spoke about the efforts being made by Pakistan in the energy sector.

Despite a severe heat wave, he said, the Ministry of Water and Power was working hard to provide uninterrupted electricity supply for more than 90% urban and 85% rural domestic consumers during Sehr, Iftaar and Taraweeh timings. Praising Italian investors for their role in renewable energy projects, Asif underlined the importance of off-grid energy solutions in the form of solar and wind energy.

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Many far-off areas had the potential to generate energy from solar panels, he said, adding Pakistan was aware of the Italian expertise in utilising renewable energy resources and wanted to take full advantage of it.

The Italian envoy, while welcoming the support received from the Ministry of Water and Power, said many Italian companies had expressed interest in the energy sector of Pakistan.

In another meeting with German Ambassador Ina Lepel, Asif cited the recent agreement between the Atlas group and Siemens for setting up a 1,000-megawatt gas-based power project as a great leap in cooperation between the two countries.

He also asked the ambassador to invest in the off-grid energy solutions in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2016.

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