LAHORE - The Punjab government and a famous Chinese energy company, China Machinery Engineering Corporation, signed the 1263 megawatt gas power project at a local hotel on Friday.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was the chief guest of the ceremony. According to the agreement, the Chinese company will establish this project near to Trimu Barrage in Jhang.

As much as 810 megawatt electricity will be produced from the power plant in a short period of 14 months while a total of 1263 megawatt electricity will be included in the national grid after the completion of the project in 26 months.

Ahad Cheema, Chief Executive Officer of the Punjab Thermal Power Company, signed the agreement on behalf of the Punjab government while Fung Yung Choy, vice-president, signed the agreement on behalf of the China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Addressing the ceremony, the CM said that his government will install the power plant in Jhang from its own resources. “This project is continuation of the great efforts of the PML-N government under the leadership of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif during the last four years to overcome the energy crisis.

“Despite many impediments and difficulties, the untiring efforts made by the PML-N government to overcome the loadshedding have started giving results. The world is witnessed to it that the government of Pakistan has burnt the midnight oil to deal with the challenges of load-shedding during the last four years,” the CM added.

Shehbaz said that Pakistan was facing acute energy crisis during the last 15 years and lack of electricity tremendously weakened the national economy. “The electricity loadshedding will be completely vanished from Pakistan at the end of this year or at the start of next year,” he announced.

The CM was of the view that due to the completion of this project, electricity will be available in abundance for trade, agriculture and industrial sectors and Pakistan will also be able to sell electricity to India, Afghanistan and Iran.

First phase of this project will be completed in 14 months and it will produce 810 megawatt electricity; while the completion of the project in 26 months will result in producing 1263 megawatt electricity.

The CM, on the occasion, regretted that some media channels are gossiping about corruption in energy projects and are immersed in the baseless propaganda that Sharif Brothers setup no new project without corruption and commission. “These channels could not dig out corruption of even a single penny in these projects and it is better for them that they, at least, praise this humble national service and appreciate the labourers, officers and other people working on these projects,” he added.

“You should not forget the corruption to the tune of billions of rupees in rental power plants. The machinery of Nandipur Power Plant remained rusted at the Karachi Port for three long years and the then-minister Babar Awan hid the file of this project in the draw of his table. Due to this, the poor nation had to face a loss of billions of rupees.”

Shehbaz Sharif stated that the media should also remember that how the nation was hoodwinked in the name of Diamir Bhasha Dam. “The PML-N government has purchased land for this project with Rs100 billion now and the work on Dasu Dam has also been started,” he informed.

He urged the need for the media to guide the nation about various challenges faced by the country including energy crisis, terrorism and political instability, “because there is no other effective medium exists.” “If a part of the media could not bring out good news and the truth, then it should shun humiliation of Pakistan in the world through fallacious statements.”

The CM said the next generations will not forgive if truth is hidden and the nation is deceived with distortion of facts. He further said that the time is not far away when Pakistani nation will emerge as a strong entity to be respected by all and this will be the Pakistan of Iqbal and Jinnah.

Mr Choy, in his address, said that best work has been done with regard to development in the Punjab and due to the policies of the Punjab government “we have been motivated to work with it.”

“Punjab Power Plant will be an example of its own with regard to transparency and this initiative will be a benchmark and we will complete this project in the scheduled timeframe,” he added. Senior Executive Vice President of Siemens, Jean Claude Nasr said that Lahore is an important city of Pakistan and they were happy to work here. “Shehbaz Sharif has a great vision for the development and prosperity of the people and the Punjab Power Plant will transfer new technology to the country.” Punjab Thermal Power Limited Company CEO Ahad Cheema briefed about various features of the 1263-MW power plant.

WORLD BANK ALL PRAISE FOR CM

Country Director of South Asian Region of World Bank, Patchamuthu Illangovan called on Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif and shared views on the programmes of improvements in social sector in the province.

Mr Illangovan appreciated the computerisation of land record and social sector reforms and said that the Punjab government has introduced tremendous reforms for betterment in social sector under the leadership of CM Shehbaz Sharif. He said that the World Bank will continue working with the Punjab government.

Talking on the occasion, the CM said that the World Bank is a solid partner of the Punjab government and its role for the development of the social sector is laudable. He said that people have been given their right by computerising the land record. He added that fraud, cheating and corruption have been eliminated due to the computerisation of land record and people have been saved from the Patwari Culture.

“An abundant improvement has been made in education, healthcare and skills development sectors,” the top WB official noted. He said that World Bank will also be welcomed in future for cooperation in betterment of the social sector.

Separately, Member of the Turkish Parliament, Burhan Kayaturk called on CM Shehbaz Sharif. Promotion of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey in different sectors especially enhancement of mutual collaboration in healthcare sector came under discussion. The Turkish parliamentarian assured the CM of continuation of cooperation in betterment of healthcare and other sectors. Speaking on the occasion, Burhan Kayaturk said: “This is our responsibility and obligation and necessary cooperation will be provided for improving the healthcare system of Punjab.”

Shehbaz Sharif said that the relations of both the countries are touching new heights under the present-day leaderships of Pakistan and Turkey and this friendship is transformed into economic cooperation.

He said that Turkey has always stood by Pakistan in every hour of trial.

 

              

OUR STAFF REPORTER