KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that his government was committed to address the issue of power shortage and would encourage local and foreign investment in the energy sector.
He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Port Qasim Thermal Power Plant here.
Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, Qatar Ambassador Sayar Abdul Rehman Al-Mawadah, Chairman Power China Fan Jixiang, Chairman Al Mirqab Sheikh Jasim, Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Micheal and Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid were also present at the ceremony.
“We will eliminate darkness from this country,” the prime minister said.
He said his government did not waste a single day during the last eleven months and the current 660 MW project, which was the first phase of 1,320 MW power project, reflected it’s commitment to address the energy issue.
The premier said he had no doubt in his mind from the very first day of his government that realising the dream of socio- economic development was impossible without addressing the issue of energy.
“The severity of this crisis required day and night work on power projects, so that we could replace the darkness with lights,” he remarked.
PM Sharif said the ground-breaking of this power project at Port Qasim had a special significance due to importance of Karachi in Pakistan's economy.
He said the government would rise the power generation up to 21,000 MW.
The prime minister said since the production of electricity from the coal fired power plants was cheaper, ten coal-fired power projects, with a capacity of 660 MW each, were being initiated at Gadani in Balochistan, which would add a total of 6,600 MW in the national grid.
He said 3,500 MW electricity would be generated from Diamer Bhasha Dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, adding that 950 MW of electricity would be available from the Neelum Jhelum power project by next year.
The premier also referred to other power projects such as a 1,320 MW project at Jamshoro as well as the planned power projects at Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Sahiwal and Jhang.
“It is our desire that we should have not only ample power at our disposal but also a cost-effective one so that a large populace can get relief,” he said referring to coal-fired power plants.
Sharif said it was a matter of immense pleasure for him that Chinese Power China Company and Qatar's Al Mirqab Capital had collaborated to initiate this project.
“These energy projects are result of our successful foreign policy, which also shows the consistency perseverance in the Pak-China relationship,” he said.
“These are early harvest projects and will bear fruit in short time. Pak-China friendship will play a crucial role in stabilising the economy of Pakistan as well as bringing peace and prosperity in the region,” he added.