BAHAWALPUR: Work on the provision of infrastructure to the solar project in the Cholistan area is in full swing but is expected to miss its production deadline.

As three turbines became functional on Thursday to provide water to the project site, the second phase of the infrastructure required for the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park has completed.

The three turbines were installed along with the Ahmedpur Branch canal at a cost of Rs80 million by the Public Health Engineering Department. The canal water by these turbines will be taken through underground pipelines. Presently, work on the completion of an overhead reservoir with a capacity of 10,000 water gallons and an underground storage tank with a capacity of 100,000 gallons of water is going on rapidly at the site. This is expected to be completed within a month.

The solar power project would be set up at Noor Sar near village 30-BC, about 18 km from Bahawalpur. About 10,000 acres has been earmarked for the project and the same tract of government land has been transferred to the park by the Cholistan Development Authority.

A unit of 1,000 MW of the solar project with Chinese assistance would be established here.

Under a phased programme, an 8.4 km road from the Bahawalpur southern bypass was built in 90 days at a cost of Rs4.88 million.

In the second phase, water turbines have been completed. Now, the third phase of the provision of infrastructure at the site is the construction of warehouses and the residences for the staff.

During a visit to the site on Thursday, Dawn observed that the third phase of the infrastructure at the site, including the construction of warehouses for the Chinese firm, staff residential quarters and the boundary wall, was in progress. The work is expected to be completed by August 2014.

Besides, the laying of underground pipes for water supply up to the main project’s solar panels from the reservoir and underground water tank was also in progress.

After the completion of infrastructure, the Chinese firm experts and engineers with their machinery are expected at the site. This means that the solar project’s first unit of 1,000MW power may be ready by the end of year, which was contrary to the announcement of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that the project’s first phase unit of 1,000MW would be completed by March last.