LAHORE: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Punjab government and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for mechanical mining of coal in the Salt Range here on Sunday.

Minerals Seretary Dr Arshad Mahmood signed the MoU on behalf of the Punjab government and Vice-President Jingkai on behalf of CMEC.

Under the agreement, the CMEC will carry out mechanical mining of coal in the Salt Range, to be used at coal-fired power plants, besides cooperating in development and economic use of the coal.

Present on the occasion, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif termed the MoU signing a welcome step and said 600 million ton coal reserves existed in Punjab which could be used in energy sector.

He said the friendship between Pakistan and China had converted into strategic partnership as a number of Chinese companies were investing in energy, infrastructure and other sectors in the country.

CMEC chairman Sun Bai said his company would extend full cooperation in mechanical mining of coal and installing energy projects in Punjab. He said the agreement would be implemented speedily.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2014