Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the first phase of Quaid-e-Azam solar power project at Bahawalpur that would add 100 Megawatt electricity to the national grid by the end of this year through 400,000 Solar Panels with a cost of $ 131.15 million. The Project is a joint venture of the Government of Punjab, Bank of Punjab and M/s TBEA Ltd. of China, producing a total of 1000 MW electricity solely from solar energy. The completion time of the whole project producing 1000 megawatt is 2.5 years. The ceremony was attended by Governor Punjab Ch. Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan H.E. Mr. Sun Weidong, President M/s TBEA Ltd. China Mr. Zhang Jianxin, Chairman Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park Project Mr. Arif Saeed, Punjab Provincial Ministers and Members Assembly, Government Officers and huge number of Bahawalpur residents.
Prime Minister said that Pakistan – China Economic Corridor, with a total investment of US $33 billion, is a glaring example of the very close friendship between the two countries. He thanked the Chinese Ambassador and the President of M/s TBEA Ltd. and its Engineers for providing technical assistance in the largest solar power project of Pakistan. While thanking the Chinese Government for its support, the Prime Minister said that 2,100 km Pak-China Economic Corridor would include special economic zones, railway system and model city, airport and free port at Gawadar, Karachi to Lahore Motorway and many more projects that would not only strengthen Pakistan’s economy but also be beneficial for our great friend China.
Prime Minister said that the commitment of present Government in ridding the people of Pakistan from the menace of load-shedding can be judged from the fact that the Government is working day and night to complete new powers projects and reduce the gap between electricity supply and demand. “Since Pakistan’s creation, 23,000 MW electricity has been produced, while we are planning to add 21,000 MW to the system in the next 8 years”, Prime Minister said. Prime Minister further added that the present Government is planning for the next 25 years and Pakistan would not only be able to fulfill its own requirement but also produce surplus electricity. “I do not want to give my nation any false hope, but after seeing the pace of work on power projects, soon the people of Pakistan will observe a considerable reduction in load-shedding”, said the Prime Minister.
Enumerating power projects that are included in the power generation plan, Prime Minister said that 1320 MW Port Qasim Power Plant was recently inaugurated. Ten power projects at Gaddani Power Park will add 6,600 MW to the system; 10 coal based power plants in Thar, based on indigenous coal, each of 660 MW; 2,640 MW projects in Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal, Jhang and Muzafargarh, will reduce the demand supply gap and enable us to produce surplus electricity, PM added.
Prime Minister said that Lahore – Karachi Motorway is also part of the Pak-China Economic Corridor. Prime Minister announced that Karachi Lahore motorway would also connect Bahawalpur. “You also have the right to benefit from the Solar Power Project and other infrastructure development projects in your area”, Prime Minister said while addressing the people of District Bahawalpur.
Prime Minister congratulated Chief Minister Punjab and his team, officers of Punjab Government and officials of M/s TBEA Ltd. China for their hard work that they are putting in for completion of the first phase of this project in merely 7 months and initiating the largest solar power project in Pakistan that would be connected to the national grid. Prime Minister also appreciated the work of IG Police Punjab for ensuring safety of the project engineers and workers, including Chinese, who are working in remote areas. He also directed to take special and effective measures for the security of Chinese personnel working on the project.
Prime Minister said that if any political part has issues, I invite them to dialogue. “They should engage into a dialogue, and resolve issues amicably and not through protests” PM added. Prime Minister said that there is no logic in carrying out protests and disturbing public life when there is positive development going on in the country; when new roads, powers plants and industries are being established. “Let Pakistan prosper; our people have suffered a lot and have rendered many sacrifices”, said the Prime Minister.