PM inaugurates 1,650 MW coal-fired power plants in Thar

THARPARKER/ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday inau­gurated two coal-fired power plants in Thar­parker with a capaci­ty of 1,650 megawatt of electricity genera­tion, saying the projects  would eventually transform the desert into an economic hub.

The projects including the 1,320 megawatt Shanghai Electric power plant and 330 MW Thal Nova power plant will annually generate 11.24 billion units of low-cost elec­tricity. Through the direct in­vestment of $3.53 billion into these projects, the produc­tion of coal-based electrici­ty in Thar will increase up to 3,300 MW.

Addressing the launching event at the Islamkot area of Thar, the prime minister said it was a moment of celebration for the entire country that the des­ert of Tharparker was getting a source of basic facilities for life. He dismissed the criticism by a section of people against Thar’s coal, terming it a bless­ing with immense potential for power resources that needed to be tapped. He expressed confi­dence that the journey of prog­ress would spread across the country and would strengthen the national economy.

The projects, which were abandoned during the last four years, are being made opera­tional on the directive of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

PM Shehbaz Sharif said by April 30, the power turbines would be installed at the proj­ects to generate electricity, which would be supplied to the rest of the country through transmission lines.

He expressed gratitude to the Government of China for ex­tending support to Pakistan in carrying out development proj­ects under the CPEC.

He vowed that the coalition government would put in all ef­forts to materialise the CPEC projects, with the agriculture sector as its next phase. He an­nounced a hospital for the peo­ple of Tharparker to provide them with medical facilities at their doorsteps.

The prime minister said no one was above the law and would not be allowed to sup­port terrorists and use them as shields. Condemning Tues­day’s terrorist incidents that targeted military personnel, he said the malicious agen­da of the enemies of Pakistan would be foiled. Foreign Minis­ter Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the project could be material­ized as the federal government and the Sindh government worked in harmony to facili­tate the masses.

He expressed satisfaction over the level of cooperation be­tween Pakistan and China over carrying out development proj­ects, which he said had result­ed in the improvement of health and educational facilities.

Federal Minister for Pow­er Khurram Dastagir said the pluralist government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was committed to providing civic amenities to the people across the country.

He said under the China Pa­kistan Economic Corridor, the development of indigenous re­sources was a big step towards self-reliance and was also valu­able in terms of foreign ex­change of the country.

Sindh Chief Minister Mu­rad Ali Shah said the political and economic interests of Pa­kistan and China were aligned for the benefit of the two na­tions.He termed the completion of the Thar Coal project a suc­cess for all stakeholders from both countries. Chinese Charge d’Affaires Pang Chunxue said the commercial operation of the Thar coal project ranked high among other coal-fired power plants. She assured all possible cooperation by the government of China in the field of develop­ment and progress.

Shanghai Electric Power Com­pany Limited is the executing agency of the projects, while the Ministry of Energy (Pow­er Division) is the coordinating ministry, and Private Power and Infrastructure Board is the su­pervising agency

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