BEIJING: With the formal commissioning of its second unit later this month, the Sahiwal power plant will become one of Pakis­tan’s clean coal power plants with the largest installed capacity of generating 9 billion kWh of electricity per year. The electricity produced by the plant will meet energy needs of nearly 10 million people.

The first unit of the coal-fired power plant with a capacity of 660 megawatts was inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month and connected to the national grid.

The second unit of the plant, with a capacity of 660MW, has been put on a trial run and is likely to be formally inaugurated by the end of this month.

Sahiwal plant is an important energy project being built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corri­dor, said Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying in reply to a question.

She said Pakistan’s energy shortage would be greatly reduced because of the energy projects, adding that China’s Belt and Road Initiative was creating positive effects in Pakistan and it would change the fate of countries and people along the routes.

The Chinese official said that 11 out of the 17 priority energy projects jointly planned by the Chinese and Pakistani sides under the CPEC were under construction. “The inaugu­ration of the first unit of the Sahiwal power plant signifies that we will soon see a host of energy projects under the corridor being constructed and completed.”

Ms Hua said that a majority of energy projects were expected to be completed by the end of 2019, which would help reduce energy shortage in Pakistan and bring benefits to people.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2017

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