ISLAMABAD: Pakistan sought on Wednesday all-out assistance from China to overcome prevailing electricity shortage in the country through hydro, solar and wind energy projects.
During a high-level meeting at the Presidency, China was asked to expand its scope of assistance in order to reduce the electricity shortfall that has gone up to 5,000MW a day.
A Chinese delegation headed by senior vice president of China Three Gorges International Corporation (TGIC), Wang Shaofeng, apprised the meeting that China was undertaking projects that would add around 2,500MW of electricity to the national grid, of which 1,950MW would be hydroelectricity and the rest would be generated through wind and solar means.
President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the TGIC, a large-scale clean energy group that specialises in development and operation of hydropower project construction and management, electric power generation and providing professional technical assistance, was assisting Pakistan in various projects that aim at overcoming the energy shortages.
The company is also involved in building a run-of-the-river hydro project at the Sukkur Barrage of 120MW.
Chairing the meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari called for expediting on fast track, the projects of electricity generation which were being undertaken in cooperation with the Three Gorges Corporation of China.
The president said: “The Three Gorges Dam Project was a living testament to the genius and vision of the Chinese people and their leadership and Pakistan is eager to learn from the Chinese experience of growth and development.”
Mr Zardari said Pakistan was also keen to have Chinese assistance in conservation of its water resources.
Appreciating the company’s involvement in various electricity generation projects, solar power project and the wind project in Sindh, the president invited the company to also invest in new projects and to participate in the construction of small and medium-sized dams in various parts of the country.
He reiterated government’s assurance of all possible facilitation to the Chinese company in construction of dams and alternative energy projects in the country.
“China has offered financial and technical assistance to massively develop hydro and wind power, upgrade the existing transmission system and provide an integrated solution to the problems of power shortages and disruptions in Pakistan,” the spokesman said.
The president reiterated his call that besides expediting the ongoing projects, attention must also be given to build a number of small power stations of 20MW to 30MW, depending upon the capacity on the various distributaries in various parts of the country.
Mr Shaofeng thanked the president for meeting and assured his company’s continued assistance to Pakistan in the field of its expertise.
Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain was present on the occasion.