LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that gas and electricity shortage and energy crisis have badly affected industrialization, saying that top priority of PML-N government is energy, energy and only energy and serious steps are being taken to meet its deficiency. He said that a number of agreements have been made with local and foreign energy companies and investors for investment in energy sector.

The chief minister said that the cooperation with China, Qatar and other countries will be useful for coping with the problem of gas and electricity shortage. He said that work would be started speedily on the projects of generating energy through coal under the agreement between China Western Power Company (CWPC) and the Punjab government.

He was talking to a delegation of CWPC and Qatar Investment, here on Wednesday.

Matters relating to progress on the agreements of cooperation with Chinese company and Punjab government in energy were discussed during the meeting. After coal, Chinese company has also expressed its interest in the investment of solar energy projects. President Chinese Company Wu Wenhao, Chairman Sepco-III Wang Lujun, Chairman Planning & Development, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board and concerned officials were also present on the occasion.

On the occasion, the CM said that China Western Power Company has made agreement of setting up two coal-based power plants of 660MW each with Punjab government and now this company has expressed its interest in investment in solar energy projects which is a welcome step. The Chief Minister said that after completing the process of tendering, work on the energy projects would be started immediately and rapid completion of these projects would be ensured.

Wu Wenhao said that efforts would be made to complete coal-based power plants of 1320MW in 30 months in Punjab. Chinese experts’ team is present in Pakistan which is working on these projects. He assured to also set up solar power plants in Punjab and make every possible effort to speedily complete energy projects.

Meanwhile, A delegation of prominent Korean Company Samsung C&T has called on Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Matters regarding investment and cooperation in energy, construction, engineering and other sectors were discussed in the meeting. Head of the delegation Joon Tae Kim gave a briefing regarding trade and business activities of the company.

The Chief Minister on the occasion welcomed the offer of cooperation and investment by Korean company in energy, construction and engineering sectors.  He said that Punjab government and Korean company can launch joint ventures. Shahbaz Sharif said that officials of Punjab government and representatives of Korean Company Samsung C&T should sit together to consider launching of joint ventures and present suggestions for practicable projects.