SAHIWAL-The Qadirabad Coal Power Plant will start producing electricity from June 2017, six months ahead of its deadline December 2017, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared on Tuesday.

“Unprecedented Chinese investment in Pakistan’s energy sector is a revolution, which will usher in new era of prosperity and economic growth.”

Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif was addressing a ceremony held to mark the arrival of first freight train, carrying 12,000 tonnes of imported-coal from Port Qasim, Karachi.

Shehbaz Sharif declared that Chinese money is not a loan but investment, “which would remain in Pakistan forever.”

The chief minister claimed the Qadirabad power plant would add 1,320 MW of electricity to the National Grid which is being completed at a cost of $1.8 billion.

The first 16 bogies-freight train, with imported coal, arrived at Sahiwal on Monday, which was brought to the Qadirabad power plant Tuesday afternoon.

Shehbaz Sharif pointed out that apart from coal energy, China is also investing to generate 3,600 MW of electricity from other sources including solar and wind. “Huge investment to tune of billions of rupees has been made in Jhang, Head Baloki and Sheikhupura,” the chief minister enumerated.

Without naming the PTI chief, the Punjab CM questioned that how a corrupt leader can save Rs112 billion for the country. He criticised that those staging sit-ins against government are themselves “bank defaulters”.

Shehbaz Sharif said that those backing the PTI politics of protest have plundered $ 60 million from Pakistani banks and have stacked the money in Swiss banks. “Those who have themselves defaulted on loans or have written off bank loans are slinging mud on the PML-N government,” he regretted.

Later, Chinese Consul General Long Din Bin told the media that the plant would be accomplished in a record time. “I assure the energetic CM that the plant will start producing power well before its deadline,” the Chinese CG affirmed.

Federal Minster for Railways Saad Rafiq, Chinese Consul General Long Ding Bin, Provincial Minister for Planning and Development Malik Nadeem Kamran, Ch Sher Ali, Pir Imran Shah, Ch Munir Azhar, Malik Arshad, Babar Hayat Tarar, Sahiwal Divisional Commissioner Atif Akram and the DPO were also present on the occasion.