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PM Nawaz inaugurates country's first solar park

Updated May 05, 2015

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif being briefed about the 100MW Solar Power Plant during Inauguration ceremony held at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur. -PPI
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif being briefed about the 100MW Solar Power Plant during Inauguration ceremony held at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur. -PPI

BAHAWALPUR: Pakistan’s first-ever solar generation project was formally inaugurated at the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park (QASP) on Tuesday by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The QASP has been designed to generate a total of 1,000MW of electricity. The QASP’s first unit reportedly went into test run last month and had achieved successful results. The generated electricity was being supplied to the National Grid System.

PM Nawaz was warmly welcomed upon his arrival as dancers presented a beautiful traditional dance of the area while two renowned folk singers of the area also entertained the gathering with their melodious voices.

The premier also inaugurated a commemorative stamp issued by the Pakistan Post.

Pakistan will overcome power shortage by 2017-2018: PM

On the occasion, PM Nawaz said several mega projects in the power sector have been launched which will help overcome the power shortage in Pakistan by 2017-2018, said a report published on Radio Pakistan.

Terming the 46 billion dollars of Chinese investment in Pakistan as unprecedented, PM Nawaz said that all projects with the Chinese cooperation will be completed on time. He said Pakistan and China will establish a special committee in order to ensure these projects are completed on record time.

Read more: Pakistan plans huge desert solar park to fight energy crisis

The premier announced Rs20 million as reward for the workers at Quaid-e-Azam solar park.

He said this the first time in Pakistan that a democratic government is delivering. He added that his government also wants to improve relations with Afghanistan, and eliminate terrorism from the entire region.

PM Nawaz further said that the temporarily displaced persons have started returning to their homes in Waziristan after terrorism was rooted out in that area. He added that this is a great achievement and the country's armed forces deserve appreciation.

Speaking about Karachi, PM Nawaz said that the situation in city has improved and extortion and kidnapping for ransom have been significantly reduced. He added that Karachi will once again be the city of lights.

PM Nawaz speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Bahawalpur - DawnNews screen grab
PM Nawaz speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Bahawalpur - DawnNews screen grab

QASP will be the biggest solar power project in the world: Shahbaz

Speaking at the ceremony, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that once completed, the QASP will be the biggest solar power project in the world.

He also revealed that China provided a Rs2 billion concession on the project. He further added that that the project will begin generating another 350MW of electricity by the end of this year.

CM Shahbaz Sharif speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Bahawalpur - DawnNews screen grab
CM Shahbaz Sharif speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Bahawalpur - DawnNews screen grab

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Acting Governor Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong were also present on the occasion besides a number of Federal and provincial ministers.

Know more: PM to open first unit at Solar Park today

In the first phase, at least 0.5 million solar panels have been installed in three blocks over 500 acres of the solar park land.

Earlier, the infrastructure for the park, including a boundary wall, buildings and roads were constructed while water was taken to the site from a nearby canal. The construction work of the first phase of 100MW had been taken in hand last year.

The second and third units of the solar park comprise 300MW and 600MW, respectively. The work on these two units had been jointly inaugurated last month in Islamabad by the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The second phase is expected to be completed in the beginning of next year followed by work on the third phase.