LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that according to an estimate Punjab has coal reserves of 446 million tons, which can be utilised for generation of electricity.
He said this while talking to a high-level delegation of China’s Gezhouba Group Corporation led by its Executive Director Yang Yisheng, which called on him on Sunday.
Matters regarding promotion of cooperation in infrastructure, hydel and coal based energy projects and low cost residential schemes were discussed in the meeting. Provincial Minister for Energy Sher Ali Khan, Managing Director Metro Bus Authority, Secretary Planning & Development, Chairperson Ring Road Authority, Director General LDA and officers concerned were also present in the meeting.
The Chinese company expressed keen interest in hydro and coal-based power generation projects in Punjab.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan was facing serious energy crisis, which was not only affecting the common man but economic activities had also slowed down.
He said that government was taking measures on emergent basis for controlling energy crisis.
He said that planning has been made for generation of electricity from solar energy.
He said that 1000 megawatt electricity would be generated under a phased programme from Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park project in Bahawalpur.
Shahbaz said that the Federal government was working on Bhasha and Dasu dams for production of electricity as well as availability of water for irrigation purposes.
He said that Punjab was rich in natural resources which can be utilised for changing the destiny of the nation.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab has also vast coal reserves and an Australian company has prepared a feasibility report for using them for energy purposes.
He invited the Chinese company to consider extending cooperation in construction of small dams and mining of coal reserves.
He said that all out security and facilities were being provided to foreign investors and companies in Punjab and China Gezhouba Group Corporation should also benefit from them.
Executive Director China Gezhouba Group Corporation, Yang Yisheng said that his Group has expertise in hydro projects, infrastructure development and coal mining. He also expressed his desire for investment in infrastructure and energy sectors in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister has said that Punjab government would give a special Eid package to the earthquake affectees of Awaran.
He has also praised the devotion to duty of the pilots of the Punjab government’s helicopter doing earthquake relief duty in Awaran and announced one month’s pay as honorarium.
He has asked the pilots to continue performing their duty during Eid days as well.