LAHORE - Agreements have been signed between the Punjab government and Chinese and Danish companies for setting up 2320 megawatt energy projects in South Punjab .

The agreements were signed in two separately held ceremonies at Model Town, yesterday where Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest.

Under the agreement inked between the Punjab government and Denmark, Danish wind power generation international company VESTAS will set up four wind power plants of 250 mw each at Rajanpur in South Punjab whereas under the second agreement, renowned Chinese Company Hauneng Shandong will set up two coal power plants of 660 mw each at Rahimyar Khan.

The chief minister gave Letter of Intent to Vice President of VESTAS Gerard Carew to set up four wind power plants with total cost of $two billion which will be done as investment.

Talking to the media men on the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said that last year it was announced that there are vast opportunities of generating energy in south Punjab and sites have been identified where plants of generating electricity through wind can be set up.

He said that former Danish Ambassador in Pakistan Jesper Moller Sorensen has extended cooperation for identifying wind corridor. He said that four units of 250 mw each will be set up in South Punjab and in the first phase 250 mw unit will be completed in 2018.

He said work is being carried out round the clock for overcoming energy crisis. He said that work is also continuing on a number of energy projects in Sindh. KPK, Balochistan, Punjab and Azad Kashmir and darkness will be removed from Pakistan after completion of these projects.

Shahbaz Sahrif requested investors of the country to come forward and put money in energy projects and he will extend full cooperation to them as a “Khadim”. “Punjab government and energy institutions will provide all possible facilities”, he added. He said that neither a single penny will have to be given as a bribe nor time will be wasted.

He said it was an opinion that there are no prospects of generating energy through wind in Punjab but VESTAS has identified wind corridors in Punjab and now investors should come forward. The Chief Minister said that work is continuing on 1320 megawatt coal power plant in Sahiwal. He said that the work was started on this project six and a half months ago and 50.8 percent construction work has been completed so far. He said that normally such projects are completed in 5 years.

He said that projects of similar capacity have also been completed in China in four years, however, Sahiwal coal power plant will be completed much before the stipulated period. Shehbaz Sharif Punjab government is finding new prospects in renewable energy sector for eliminating energy crisis. He said that Denmark is one of the founders of wind energy for a long time and VESTAS is prominent internationally.

Political Director of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Jesper Moler Sorensen who served as ambassador in Pakistan from 2013 to 2015 addressing the function said that VESTAS had been introduced to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

“Pakistan is coming as a surprising market for Danish companies in energy sector and is marching forward in the field of renewable energy where Danish companies are very strong. Denmark is ready to provide more technical assistance to Punjab government in renewable energy sector,” he held.

He said that Danish government planned to transfer Danish expertise in wind policy, technical field and financing sector to concerned Pakistani stakeholders. Jesper Moler Sorensen said that we are happy over crossing this milestone with the collaboration of Punjab government.

He thanked Chief Minister and Punjab government for extending cooperation and looking forward to completing feasibility study of the project, working with stakeholders, ensuring orders and starting their construction.

Vice President of VESTAS Jerad Cereu addressing the ceremony said that VESTAS provides wind energy to 74 countries and it has provided jobs to 19500 people. He said that VESTAS has set up 52 percent more megawatts than others in the industry and the projects of 71 megawatts have been set up all over the world.

The agreed establishment of 1320mw coal power plant by Chinese company Hauneng Shandong, will cost $two billion. Under this agreement, Chinese company will set up two coal power plants of 660 megawatt each in Rahimyar Khan. Secretary Energy Asadur Rehman Gilani signed on behalf of Punjab government and President of Chinese company Wang Wen Zong on behalf of his company.

CORPS COMMANDER CALLS ON CM: Meanwhile, Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Sadiq Ali called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, yesterday and shared views with him on the matters of mutual interest, professional affairs of Pak Army and implementation of National Action Plan against terrorism.

The meeting reiterated the determination to root out terrorism from the society. Both the functionaries expressed satisfaction with the steps taken under the National Action Plan for elimination of terrorism and extremism.

DURRANI MEETS Shahbaz: Shahbaz Sharif extolled Pakistani women as highly talented and hardworking who are hugely proving their worth in various fields of national life.

“The dream of development cannot be materialized without participation of women in practical life and with this view Punjab government has taken revolutionary steps for their empowerment,” the chief minister said while talking to Speaker Balochistan Assembly Raheela Durrani who called on him yesterday.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif has said that centers have been set up for the payment of compensation to the owners of the land acquired for Orange Line Metro Train project and extra payment will also be made for the constructed building, loss to business and expenses for shifting of residence.

He said that Punjab government has allocated a big amount of Rs20 billion for payment of compensation for the land. He said that affectees will be immediately paid compensation through one-window operation.

He was addressing a meeting through video link at Civil Secretariat to review the process of payment of compensation to the owners of the land acquired for Orange Line Metro Train project.

The chief minister said that interests of the persons affected by the project will be safeguarded and demands of justice will be fulfilled. He said that separate arrangements have been made for men and women at one-window payment centers.

He said that after verification of complete documents, cheques of compensation will be given on the same day and full payment will be made to the owners of the land within a few days.

Shahbaz Sharif said that he is personally monitoring the matters regarding payment of compensation.