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Canadian firm to set up 500MW project

08 November, 2013

LAHORE: An agreement was signed between Punjab government and Canadian Solar Company for investment in solar energy project, here on Thursday. Under the agreement, Canadian company will set up a 500MW solar project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park.

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LAHORE: An agreement was signed between Punjab government and Canadian Solar Company for investment in solar energy project, here on Thursday. Under the agreement, Canadian company will set up a 500MW solar project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park.

In the first phase, a 200MW plant would be set up within a year while a 300 MW project would be completed during next two years. Canadian Solar Company would invest about $1.75 billion in the 500 MW solar project while Punjab government would provide free of cost land.

Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Provincial Energy Minister Ch. Sher Ali Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Energy Jehanzeb Khan, Senior Vice President Global Head of Utility Solar Project of the Canadian Solar Company Charles Bai and other senior officials of the company were present at the signing ceremony.

Talking to media on the occasion, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif shed light on the saleient features of the project and the said that the agreement of cooperation between Canadian company and Punjab is a step forward. He said that Pakistan is relying on thermal power for electricity production and a sum of $10 billion is being spent annually on import of fuel which a poor country like Pakistan cannot afford. He stressed the need for setting up low-cost energy projects so that electricity could be provided to the people at cheaper rates. He said that prices of solar power plants are decreasing in the world, therefore, Punjab government is giving priority to the solar energy projects.

Shahbaz Sharif said that Quaid Azam Solar Park will achieve great importance in the region and help in overcoming the shortage of electricity. He said that Punjab government is also working speedily on 1000 megawatt solar power project and initially 100 megawatt power project will start production within a few months. He said that solar heat, machinery and a small workforce is enough for generation of electricity.

Replying to the questions, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the elements involved in gas and power theft were criminal and deserved no leniency. He made an appeal to the people to expose gas and power thieves in the national interest. He said that Punjab government is continuing a vigorous campaign against those involved in gas and electricity theft.

Replying to questions about security, Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government is paying full attention to maintenance of law and order and complete protection will be provided to foreign investors in the province.

In response to a question about electricity tariff, he said that no additional burden has been put on the common man and the government is giving a subsidy of Rs 155 billion to domestic consumers using up to 200 units of electricity. He said that investors from Qatar and officials of Chinese company had met Prime Minister and expressed interest in investment in energy projects in Pakistan.

Senior Vice President of the Canadian Company Charles Bai said that his company is working in 20 countries including Pakistan. He said that his company will be happy to work with Punjab government in energy sector. He said that Prime Minister and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are making serious efforts to overcome energy problem. He said that his company is deeply impressed with the efforts of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and has decided to work with Punjab government. He said that his company will set up a 500 megawatt solar power plant in Punjab and will total investment.

Courtesy: The Nation


 
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