By Raziq Ali Shah
ISLAMABAD, May 25 (APP): The government is embarking on ambitious plan to overcome menace of load-shedding as some over 17000 MW additional electricity will be added to the national grid system by 2018.
The incumbent government’s pragmatic steps will not only end power load-shedding in the country but also usher in a new era of progress and prosperity.
The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government since its inception gave top priority to cope with power shortage which had badly crippled economic growth of the country besides adding to the woes of the people.
Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhary Abid Sher Ali says that the electricity shortage was 7,000 MW on assumption of charge by present government in 2013.
Various long and short term measures were taken immediately to address energy crisis as per PML-N election manifesto, he said.
Abid said owing to the untiring efforts of PML-N leadership, the government attracted $ 46 billion foreign investment under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Out of the total, some $ 34 billion was being invested in energy related projects, which would not only help overcome the existing energy crisis faced by the country but would produce surplus electricity for the benefit of the country, he added.
The minister said some 17,045 megawatts electricity would be generated through these projects spread all across the country, hence leading the Nation try towards self-sufficiency in energy production.
He said 1100 MW electricity generated through these projects would be included in the national grid during the current year.
During the year 2017, about 1650 MW electricity would be included in the national grid system while projects of 3270 MW capacity would become operational by 2018.
The Minister said the additional projects of 2250 MW capacity would be completed after 2018.
Giving the details, Abid said currently work on 1,320 MW coal-fired power project at Sahiwal was in progress and work on 1320 MW Port Qasim Coal project was also going on which would generate 660 MW electricity by 2017, while the remaining 660 would be ready for consumption by 2018.
Similarly, he said, work on 600 MW Engro Thar Coal project also continued on fast track which would produce 300 MW electricity by 2017 and additional 300 MW by 2018.
Abid said that Work on 1320 MW Qadirabad Coal Project was also in progress, which would include 660 MW electricity in the national transmission system by 2017 while the remaining 660 MW would be included in the system by 2018.
As many as 300 MW would be added in the national gird from Salt Range Mine Mouth Power Project by end of 2018 while the Hubco would give 660 MW to national gird by 2018.
Work on Thar Block-I has also been initiated to produce 660 MW electricity by 2018 and additional 660 MW after the year 2018.
The 1000 MW Qaid-i-Azam Solar Part in Bhawalpur and 250 MW wind power plant in Sindh were also going on which would start generation this year.
Up to 720 MW Krote Hydro Power Project and 870 MW Sukhi Kinaru Hydro Power projects of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also in pipeline which would be launched after year 2018.
Many other energy projects are also part of the CPEC but these would be initiated after 2018.
Other than CPEC projects, China has investment in many other energy projects including 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Project, which would start electricity generation of 969 MW from 2017.
Chashma Nuclear C3 would add 340 MW to the national grid this year while another chunk of 340 MW would be included in the system 2017.
Chairman Renewable and Alternate Energy Association of Pakistan ( REAP), Muhammad Nasir, said that China has once again proved its sincere friendship by taking measures to rid Pakistan of energy crisis.
President REAP, Asif Jah says that Pak-China friendship was sweeter than honey, higher than Himaliyas, deeper than oceans and stronger than steel.
Both the countries have similar stances regarding international relations, peace and mutual respect.
Due to the prudent economic policies, China has become an economic power in the world and the historic economic package of China is a gift for Pakistan, which would be remembered for ever.
REAP Biodiesel Coordinator, Rana Tauseef Iqbal said that during the tenure of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, new epoch of Pak-China friendship has started and the relations between the two countries have been transformed into fruitful economic ties.
The CPEC would open new avenues of progress and prosperity while the energy projects initiated under it would pull the country out of dark.
Abid Sher Ali said government retired circular debt worth Rs 480 billion, resulting in an addition of 1,752MW to the national grid, thereby providing prompt relief to the people.
He said year 2015 remained the most stable as well as the best period for generation of power during the last ten years due to lowest line losses in terms of technicalities and recovery.
There was 5.8% reduction in the line losses during the Year due to better monitoring and robust strategy to eliminate corruption and leakages, he added.
He said Rs 51/- billion increase was noticed in recoveries while Rs.10 billion were saved due to decrease in the line losses. Due to better generation cost monitoring, Rs. 57/- billion were saved.
The PML-N government completed delayed projects of 2100MW, which were added to the national grid.