LAHORE/ BEIJING     -    The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the industry during the holy month of Ramazan.

In a statement issued on Monday, LCCI President Almas Hyder said that industry should be given uninterrupted power supply this year since Pakistan has added substantial electricity to the national grid after completion of various projects.

“In previous years, the industry had to bear the burden of loadshedding in Ramazan as the governments did not have adequate power after catering to the domestic requirements”, he said.  LCCI President said that all system constraints should be removed to avoid power shutdowns for the industrial sector keeping in view the hot weather and power supply burden. He said that DISCOs should have sufficient stock of transformers, cables, polls and all other necessities to keep the things under control.

“Industrial sector is the ray of hope for economic stability of the country. It needs all kinds of support from the government including uninterrupted electricity supply so that it can bring more foreign exchange to the country besides providing jobs to the people”, he said.

LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that country has witnessed some serious power failure incidents due to over-burdening which not only plunged country into darkness but also caused huge loss to the industry. To avoid any untoward incident, all weaknesses of power transmission and distribution system should be removed.

They urged the authorities not to tolerate any laxity towards the upgradation of power transmission and distribution system as any negligence could cause huge loss to the trade, industry and economy.

Meanwhile, the Karot hydropower project, being developed on build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is scheduled to be completed by the year 2020.

The project was launched at the end of 2015 and after completion, it will be operated by the construction contractor for 30 years. Afterward, the ownership will be transferred to the Pakistani government at no cost, according to a report of Chian.org.cn here on Thursday.

With an investment of US $1.74 billion, the power station will have an installed capacity of 720MW and an average annual output of 3.2GWh, equivalent to 10 percent of Pakistan’s total hydroelectric power generation in 2017.

This will provide reliable energy support for economic and social development. In addition to power generation, it will help flood prevention and sediment control, and improve downstream and reservoir area transport services.

The project is expected to create more than 2,000 new jobs during the construction period, and will spur coordinated and upgraded development in related sectors.

The Karot hydropower project is located on the Jhelum River, one of the rivers of the Indus River System in northern Pakistan, about 55 kilometers east of Islamabad.

It is the first hydropower project implemented under the Belt and Road Initiative, and the first project financed by the Silk Road Fund since its inception in 2014.

It is also one of the priority projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the largest greenfield investment project ever undertaken overseas by a Chinese company.