LAHORE - Vice-President of a leading German engineering company Uhde Middle East branch Dr Guido Denial has met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here on Friday and discussed cooperation in energy sector. Provincial Commerce Minister Sardar Dost Muhammad Khan Khosa, Chairman Planning and Development, Secretaries Mines and Commerce, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board, Mian Mansha, Khwaja Haroon and Nadeem Babar were also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that Pakistan is facing severe energy crisis with a shortage 5,000MW which is adversely affecting the economy. He said that energy is lifeline of industries and there is a need to expedite work on power generation projects. He said that the Punjab government is working on power generation from alternative sources and a separate department has been set up for this purpose. He said that Punjab is rich in natural resources having vast reserves of high grade coal which can be used to generate power. He said that Uhde and Punjab government can launch joint ventures for power generation and red-tapism should not become a hurdle in the implementation of the projects. He said that private sector should be encouraged in the energy sector. The Chief Minister directed the Commerce Secretary to send a team of experts to Germany to inspect the plant of the company and discuss cooperation in energy sector with the top officials of the company. He said that there are also huge reserves of iron ore in Punjab which can turn out to be gold mines for the economy of the province. He said that the Punjab government is working to benefit from iron ore reserves and convert it into steel. Dr Guido Denial praised the efforts of the Chief Minister for power generation from alternative sources of energy and said that Uhde wants to work with the Punjab government in the energy sector. He said that the company with the cooperation of Punjab government will formulate proposals for cooperation in coal gasification sector and the agreement, agreed upon in the light of these proposals, will be speedily executed.