Lahore - A delegation of China Machinery Engineering Corporation led by its Vice President Li Jingkai met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here on Sunday.

Matters regarding setting up of coal power plants from the local coal of Salt Range were discussed in the meeting. The Chinese company expressed keen interest in the project and it was agreed to set up coal power plants to be operated with the local coal.

Talking to the delegation, the chief Minister said that there were vast reserves of coal in Punjab and the provincial government had made a plan to utilise local coal for power sector. He welcomed the offer of Chinese company to set up coal power plants based on the local coal.

He said that the project of coal power plants will be implemented speedily and transparently while the use of modern methods of mining will also result in increase in coal production. He said that land had been identified for the project of coal power plants and facilities like water, infrastructure, grid and transmission line were available near the proposed site. The Chief Minister said that a comprehensive strategy had been evolved regarding the supply of local coal to coal power plants on priority basis.

He said that Chinese company should devise a strategy for the implementation of the project within minimum time. He said that new job opportunities could also be created through the mining of coal. He said that China was a close friend of Pakistan and extended commendable cooperation for the development of different sectors. He said that collaboration of Chinese companies with Punjab government will further strengthen the bonds of friendship.

Vice President of China Machinery Engineering Corporation Li Jingkai said that the project of modern coal mining in Punjab and establishment of power generation projects will be completed speedily. He said that his company has expertise in coal mining as well as energy sector and full cooperation will be extended to the Punjab government in coal mining.