LAHORE, Aug 29: Federal and Punjab governments, China National Power and Q Investment Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here on Thursday for production of 6,600MW electricity through coal-fired stations.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, federal water and power minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif attended the MoU signing ceremony.

Under the $5 billion tripartite investment plan, 10 coal-powered plants will start generating 3,000MW in 30 months while the remaining 3,600MW would be generated in the next two-and-a-half years. The plants to be run on imported coal would be set up at Gaddani, Balochistan.

On the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said Qatar would bear financial cost of the project while Chinese firm would commission and run the plants.

Mr Sharif said work on Thar coal was also continuing but it would take time for mining and commissioning of power plants there.

Khwaja Asif told a questioner that work on Diamar-Bhasha was not being stopped. He said so far the project had cost a sum of Rs21 billion, while Rs12 billion had been allocated for it in the ongoing financial year.

Responding to another query, the minister said talks were on for making functional 400-MW power plants lying idle since long.

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