GUDDU: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday inaugurated commissioning of additional power units at the Guddu Thermal Power Plant, which will add another 747 MW to the national grid at a cost of Rs 60 billion.
Addressing a large gathering here after the inauguration of two gas turbines of 243 MW each, the prime minister said a third unit will be operational in May, increasing the current capacity of Guddu Power Plant from 1655 MW to 2402 MW, equivalent to four billion units of electricity.
He said the three units were part of the Combined Cycle Plant and would generate 747 MW of electricity to cut down the demand-supply gap.
He said the early completion of the project, seven months ahead of schedule, will lead to a saving of 58.6 billion rupees. He said the saving was almost equal to the amount spent on the project.
He said he was pleased to see that the efforts of the government were bearing fruits and hoped that with sustained efforts the problem of load-shedding will be over soon, and industry and agriculture will flourish.
The premier regretted that in the past the slow pace of work on the projects had hampered progress but hoped that the measures being adopted by the government will bring about a positive change.
He said had the pace of progress adopted by his government in 1999 continued, there would have been no issue of load-shedding and the country would have been at the forefront amongst the developed countries of the world.
He said the government will ensure that each penny from the national exchequer is spent transparently and on projects that benefit the masses. He said the people of Pakistan were facing long hours of load-shedding for the past one decade and it had also seriously undermined the country's progress in all areas.
However, he expressed the hope that with the initiative of the government things would change and an era of progress and development will usher in.
In this regard, he said the government through good governance was trying to enhance efficiency of existing power plants, speeding up work of ongoing projects, and planning for new projects under public-private partnership.
Prime Minister Sharif also termed the project as part of the government's efforts to meet the energy shortfall in the country and gave a detailed overview of the new projects that were underway across the country to make the country self-sufficient.
He said following the government’s efforts additional 21,000 MW electricity would be added to the national grid in next eight years.
He was also appreciative of the Chinese assistance and its company Harbin Electric International Company for completing the work on the project, seven months ahead of the deadline.
The prime minister lauded the strong Pakistan-China multifaceted ties and said he was proud of Pakistan's friendship with China which he said was deepest than the deepest oceans, highest than the highest mountains and sweetest than the sweetest honey.
He said the two countries were jointly working on several power projects and had promised investment of billions of dollars in different projects in Pakistan.
He was also appreciative of the Ministry of Water and Power, GENCO Holding Company and Central Power Generation Co Ltd of Guddu for fast tracking the project.
The prime minister, who earlier had a round of the power plant and unveiled the plaque, was also briefed about the salient features of the project.
Prime Minister Sharif said he and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah will soon jointly inaugurate the work on the new Lahore-Karachi motorway.
He mentioned that soon after coming into power, his government paid back the Rs 500 billion circular debt and incentives were given to Independent Power Producers.
He said 6600 MW electricity would also be generated at the Gadani Power Park with assistance of local and foreign investors, while with the support of the Asian Development Bank, a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant was being set up at Jamshoro. Besides, feasibility was underway for similar coal plants at Lakhara, Port Qasim and Thar.
He said work on 1410 MW extension IV at Tarbela, Extension V at Tarbela for 1320 MW and 4500 MW at Diamir and Bhasa dams had also been initiated.
He said the private sector was investing in power projects at Soki Kinari, Karot and Kohala, and all this would bring about 21,000 MW power in the next eight years.
He said the government was also focusing on fast-tracking the pace of work on ongoing projects. And in this regard, he mentioned the one he was inaugurating and the Nandipur Power Project.
He attributed the success to effective monitoring by the ministry and BHCL.