LAHORE, July 27: The Punjab government on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding with China Power International Holdings (CPIH) for setting up four coal power plants of 2400 megawatts.

Talking to the media on the occasion, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said CPIH would set up four coal power plants at Gadani (Balochistan) to generate 2,400 megawatts. Of these four plants, two would be completed within two years and the other two plants within three years from the date of agreement.

He said major investment in these power plants would be made by the Chinese company. However, the Punjab government would also make some investment. He said all matters relating to implementation of the agreement would be settled in a transparent manner.

Sharif said this agreement was continuity of prime minister’s visit to China. He said 20 days after the visit to China, more than 24 Chinese friends came to Pakistan and today’s agreement was a step in this direction. He said under the agreement coal would be imported for these power plants. He said the electricity generated through these power plants would be added to national grid and then it would be consumed in Punjab. He expressed the hope that after completion of these projects electricity would be available in abundance to people of Punjab for agriculture and industry.

Later, replying to questions of media the chief minister said investment in Balochistan would create jobs for the locals. He said a Pakistani team was holding productive talks in China on the Nandipur Power Project. He said both countries suffered losses due to delay in the project.

CPIH Vice-President Wang Zhiying said on this occasion that Pakistan and China were trustworthy friends and this friendship had stood the test of time. He said his company would complete these projects speedily.

Energy Secretary Usman Bajwa and Mr Zhiying singed the MoU.

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