LAHORE - An MoU was signed between Punjab government and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for mechanical mining of indigenous coal in salt range here on Sunday.

Secretary Minerals Dr Arshad Mahmood signed MoU on behalf of Punjab government while Vice President Jingkai on behalf of CMEC. Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest of the function held at Model Town.

Under the agreement, renowned Chinese Company will carry out mechanical mining of coal through modern methods in salt range. Besides modern mining, Punjab government and CMEC will also extend cooperation to each other for development of indigenous coal and its economic use. CMEC will use this coal obtained through modern mechanical methods instead of manual for the proposed power plants. The Chief Minister while terming the signing of MoU between Punjab government and CMEC a welcome step said that the friendship between Pakistan and China has converted into strategic partnership.

He said that a number of Chinese companies are making investment in energy, infrastructure and other sectors. Shahbaz Sharif said that 600 million tonnes coal reserves exist in Punjab which can be used in energy sector. He said that the agreement with regard to mining of indigenous coal through modern methods by CMEC in this regard is a good omen.

He said that with the agreement of Chinese Company, indigenous coal will be used in energy sector. Besides Chairman CMEC Sun Bai and senior officials of Chinese Company, Additional Chief Secretary Energy and concerned officials were also present on the occasion. Sun Bai said that Chinese Company will extend full cooperation in mechanical mining of coal and installing energy generating projects in Punjab. He said that the agreement made with Punjab government in mining and energy sector will be implemented speedily.