Home »Fuel and Energy » Pakistan » Coal-fired power project at PQ: PM inaugurates first unit

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  • Nov 30th, 2017
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Reiterating the PML-N government's unwavering resolve towards strengthening and taking forward democracy in the country, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday said Pakistan's future lied in democracy and there were no choices. "Elections will be held in August next year... Our future lies in democracy. There are no choices here," the PM emphatically stated this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the first unit of 1320MW coal-fired power project here at Port Qasim. The first unit will produce 660MW of electricity.

PM Abbasi said, "We have a vibrant democracy; we have freedom of expression; we have free media; and together the institutions of state have delivered for the people of Pakistan." "We may have difference of opinion; we may have Dharnas (sit-ins); we may have differences; but the institutions of state have stood together to defeat terrorism and reject extremism," he maintained.

He said 1320MW coal-fired power project, worth $2 billion, initiated under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reflected the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He said the first unit of the project of 660MW had been completed in 30 months - ahead of schedule - and he had been assured that the second unit of 660MW would also be completed ahead of the schedule and to be inaugurated in February 2018.

The PM said the 1320MW coal power project, jointly developed by Power China Resources Limited and Al Mirqab Capital of Qatar, was not only producing the cheapest power, but also was an environment-friendly. He said the completion of the first unit of coal-fired power project was a significant milestone in CPEC, and for that both Power China Resources Limited and Al Mirqab Capital should be congratulated.

The PM said Pakistan was fully committed to CPEC, which was bound not only to push economic growth and prosperity in the country but was also creating job opportunities for the youth. Highlighting the government's performance during the last over four years, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said when the PML-N government came into power in 2013, the country was facing severe power shortages and there were blackouts of up to 16 hours daily. "Now I can say with full confidence that Pakistan has surplus power generation," he added.

He said the PML-N government launched various power projects and completed them, adding, even the 400MW Nandi Pur power project, which was lingering on over the last 10 years, was completed by the present government. "This is the reality of PML-N government," he remarked. The PM said the government had also brought about diversity in energy fuel-mix and reduced the cost of production. Last month, NEPRA (National Power Regulatory Authority) reduced the electricity price for consumers by Rs 2 per KW, he added.

He also mentioned various power projects, including coal-fired, gas-fired and hydel-based which had added thousands of mega watts of power to the national grid over the last four and a half years as well as the measures that attracted foreign investment in the energy sector. The PM said the main objective and purpose of the development projects, including the power projects, was to achieve high economic growth, generate job opportunities for the youth and bring prosperity for the people of Pakistan.

Besides, he said, the PML-N government intended to provide resources and was committed to supporting the provincial governments in achieving 100 percent literacy rate, with target for 100 percent enrolment, 100 percent retention and 100 percent graduation. PM Abbasi said the elections would be held in August next year, and whichever government came into power would have to continue with the same pace and the same purpose to achieve economic growth and deliver for the people of Pakistan.

Earlier, the prime minister on arrival at the Karachi Airport, was received by Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and senior officials.

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