LAHORE - A ceremony was held at CM Office on Thursday to sign an agreement between Punjab Power Development Board of Energy Department, Alternate Energy Development Board and Zhenfa Pakistan New Energy Company for setting up the 100-megawatt solar project in Chaubara area of Layyah district with an investment of Rs 10 billion. 

This project will generate electricity at a minimum tariff of 3.7 cents.  Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Federal Energy Minister Umar Ayub Khan were the chief guests on the occasion. 

MD PPDB, CEO AEDB and CEO of Zhenfa Pakistan New Energy Company signed the letter of support.  Addressing the ceremony, the CM stated the energy needs of Punjab was greater than other provinces due to the size of its population and developing economy.  He said the provincial government was committed to fulfilling energy needs from its resources.  “Around 70 per cent of total electricity product is used in Punjab and the province pays 82 per cent revenue of the national income generated from the electricity sector”, he said. 

The PTI government, he said, was working for cheap electricity generation as the past government set up expensive energy projects which burdened the masses. He announced that government offices will be converted to solar energy in phases adding that conversion of 950 BHUs to solar energy was in progress. 

Buzdar said that Punjab Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency was providing technical advice to government institutions and energy conservation building codes had also been compiled which will help in saving money. 

He disclosed that a proposal was being reviewed to transfer industrial estates, WASAs and orange line train type projects on alternate energy.  He said the government was facilitating the investors as ample investment opportunities were available in the energy sector.  He said a mechanism had been devised to ensure implementation of energy projects in the minimum of time. 

The CM further stated that 17.30 crore unit electricity will be provided to the national grid through this project to fulfill the needs of around 17,000 families. 

Meanwhile, the waste-to-energy project is also being studied by the Punjab government, the CM concluded. Federal Minister Umar Ayub Khan stated that solar project agreement had been signed with minimum tariff for which CM Usman Buzdar and his team deserved accolades. “Past governments set up expensive energy projects and poor planning was done in the past but the incumbent government is generating electricity through cheap resources.”, he said. 

The minister said that net metering will be brought to single-phase as transmission lines have been improved which have the capability to supply 24000-megawatt electricity. Separate tariff for WASA is also being reviewed, he added. 

Provincial Energy Minister Akhtar Malik said that most expensive solar projects were set up in the past tenure and public money was mercilessly wasted. Eight thousand schools have been converted to solar energy and the target of converting 15 thousand schools to solar energy will be achieved. 

ACS (Energy) Irum Bukhari said that Usman Buzdar provided full cooperation at every occasion and added that it is an important project of providing cheap electricity. Tariff of the 100-megawatt project is 3.7 cent. 

Information Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, assembly members Ghazeen Abbasi, Sadia Sohail, advisor Dr Salman Shah and energy experts attended the meeting.