Govt, Chinese firm sign mega power plant pact

Project, scheduled to be completed in 26 months, will produce 1,263MW electricity

Our Correspondent September 30, 2017
Gas power plant. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The Punjab government and a Chinese Energy Company China Machinery Engineering Corporation signed an agreement for a 1,263 megawatt gas power project which is scheduled to be completed in 26 months.

According to the agreement, the Chinese company will set up the project near Trimu Barrage in Jhang. As much as 810 megawatts of electricity will be produced from the Punjab Power Plant in a short period of 14 months, while a total of 1,263 megawatts will be added to the national grid after the completion of the project in 26 months.

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Punjab Thermal Power Company Chief Executive Officer Ahad Cheema signed the agreement on behalf of the Punjab government, while Vice President Fung Yung Choy signed the agreement on behalf of the China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the Punjab government has decided to install a gas-based 1,263 megawatt power plant in Jhang from its own resources.  He added that an agreement with the Chinese company has been signed to implement the project.

Shehbaz said that Pakistan has been facing an acute energy crisis for the last 15 years and the lack of electricity has tremendously weakened the national economy. Load-shedding not only amplified the problems of the people in the country but this menace has resulted in weakening the industrial sector and also affected health, education and social sectors.

The chief minister said the load-shedding would be completely vanished from the country at the end of this year or in the beginning of the next year. He added that due to the sincere efforts of the incumbent government, the load-shedding would become a thing of the past and it would never return.

After completion of this project, electricity will be available in abundance for trade, agriculture and industrial sectors. “We will also be able to sell electricity to India, Afghanistan and Iran,” he claimed.

He said the first phase of this project would be completed in 14 months and it would produce 810 megawatt electricity while the completion of the project in 26 months will result in producing 1,263 megawatt electricity.

Work on energy projects is being carried out expeditiously throughout the country under the China Pakistan Economic-Corridor (CPEC) Sahiwal Coal Power Plant has been completed while Port Qasim Coal Power Plant will also be generating electricity this year.

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The chief minister said that China has provided the full support to overcome the energy crisis and Pakistan was grateful to the Chinese government, its leadership and the people.

Choy said that the best work has been done with regards to development in Punjab and due to the policies of the Punjab government they have been motivated to work with them. The Punjab Power Plant would be an example as it transparent and this initiative would be a benchmark, said Choy. “We will complete this project on the scheduled time.”

Provincial ministers, members of the Assembly, parliamentarians from district Jhang, Deputy Consul General of China, officials of the Chinese company, chief secretary and high officials of the Punjab government also attended the ceremony.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2017.


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