KARACHI: “The present government was committed to address the issue of power shortage in the country and would encourage the local and foreign investment in energy”. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said this while addressing at the inauguration ceremony of Port Qasim Thermal Power plant today at Karachi. Dr Ishrat ul Ibad , Governor Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Sindh , Abid Sher Ali, MOS For Water and Power, H.E. Sun Weidong,Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan, H.E. Sayar Abdul Rehman Al-Mawadah ,Qater Ambassador in Pakistan, Mr. Fan Jixiang, Chairman Power China , H.E. Sheikh Jasim, Chairman Al Mirqab , Kamran Michael, Minister For Ports And Shipping and Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Minister of Industries and Production were also present at the inauguration ceremony. “We will eliminate darkness from this country soon “, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister further said his government did not waste a single day during the last eleven months and the current 660 MW project, which is the first phase of 1320 MW power project, reflected the commitment of the government to address the energy issue.
Prime Minister Sharif said after coming into power he utilized most of his time to get the country out of energy crisis through consultation with experts, which shows the government’s priorities.
He said the current project was the result of government’s untiring efforts, which was planned during the last eleven months and today it is being implemented.
The Prime Minister said that the present government conceived this project, removed all the hurdles and started it in a short period of time. The Prime Minister said he had no doubt in his mind from the very first day of his government that realizing the dream of socio-economic development was impossible without addressing the issue of energy.
“The severity of this crisis required day and night work on power projects, so that we could replace the darkness with lights”, he remarked.
He said the ground-breaking of this power project at Port Qasim has a special significance due to the importance of Karachi in Pakistan’s economy.
The Prime Minister said the government would raise the power generation to 21000 MW. He further said that since the production of electricity from the coal fired power plants was cheaper, ten coal fired power projects with a capacity of 660 MW each are being initiated at Gadani in Balochistan, which would add a total of 6600 MW electricity in the national grid.
He said that 3500 MW electricity would be generated from Diamer Bhasha Dam in Gilgit Baltistan and 950 MW of electricity would be available from the Neelum Jhelum power project next year.
He also referred to other power projects such as a 1320 MW project at Jamshoro as well as the planned power projects at Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Sahiwal and Jhang.
The Prime Minister said that this journey continued at rapid pace and they laid the foundation for power generation in the next five years, greater than the total power produced in the countries
Whole history. The 1320 MW project is also a part of this series. In the first phase coal-fired 660 MW power would be generated.
He said that with the coal-fired power generation, the cost of electricity would be reduced, enabling the general public to get electricity according to their purchasing power.
“It is our desire that we should have not only ample power at our disposal but also a cost-effective one so that a large populace can get relief,” he added.
Prime Minister said it was a matter of immense pleasure for him that Power China Company and Qatar’s Al Mirqab Capital have collaborated to initiate this project. The projected time of completion was 2017 and looking at the past performances of the companies, PM said that the project would be completed ahead of the scheduled time.
“These energy projects are result of our successful foreign policy which also shows the consistency perseverance in the Pak- China relationship. These is early harvest projects and will bear fruit in short time. Pak-China friendship will play a crucial role in stabilizing the economy of Pakistan as well as bringing peace and prosperity in the region,” he added.
About Qatar’s cooperation in the energy sector, the Prime Minister said that it was also very crucial and hopefully this project would further strengthen the relationship between the two
“People knew when we took responsibility of running the government, what was the situation on ground. The people are very well aware of the fact how we are working day and night to overcome the crises,” PM said.
The Prime Minister also said that a common Pakistani could very well discern between the past and the present. It was a matter of satisfaction for him that the people were hoping for the betterment and the rewards of good governance. He further said that Nandipur Thermal Power Project which had been stalled for a long time was put on track for completion which would add 425 MW power in the system. The work on Neelum-Jhelum hydro-power project had been expedited and after completion in 2016, 969 MW electricity would be available adding the expansion work on Tarbella iv and v projects would be accomplished in 2017 with total production of 2760 MW power.
The Prime Minister said that the project of Motorway initiated by his government during the 1990s and has benefited the people of Pakistan a lot and those who were critical of the Motorway project at that time later appreciated it.
The Prime Minister thanked Power China and Al Mirqab Company for trusting government policies and investing in Pakistan.