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ISLAMABAD: During a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the Cabinet Committee on Energy deci­ded on Thursday to import additional electricity from Iran, and directed the power ministry to take up the matter on a priority basis.

The meeting was told by the Ministry of Power that the government of Iran was interested in increasing the export of electricity to Pakistan by 100 megawatts (MW).

The neighbouring country is currently providing 100MW of electricity for which the supply contract is renewed annually.

The meeting was informed that for the supply of additional 100MW, new transmission lines and grid stations would have to be put in place. The extra power would be used for meeting the immediate needs of Makran division, particularly Gwadar’s port and its industrial area.

The committee approved the proposal and directed the ministry to immediately make arrangements for the purchase of additional electricity from Iran and to complete the spadework as quickly as possible.

The prime minister also instructed the power minister to expedite installation of transmission lines for connecting the Makran division to the national grid on a priority basis.

The power ministry also told the meeting that as per the latest projections, Pakistan would have surplus electricity in the year 2017-18.

The supply position would be strengthened further by the addition of new capacity from Thar coal scheme as well as the upcoming hydel projects.

The meeting also reviewed progress made so far on installation of transmission lines for Port Qasim, coal-fired power plants, the Neelum-Jhelum project, hydel power projects, and the Tarbela IV and Golen Gol hydel projects.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2017

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