BEIJING, March 28 (APP):A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tuesday appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s remarks on the Thar Coal Block-I Coal Electricity Integration project and said, “Just as the prime minister has stated, the project will turn the region of sand dunes into a source of power.”
“China appreciates Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s statement. Just as the prime minister has said, Thar Coal Block-I electricity integration project will turn the region of sand dunes to a source of power,” Mao Ning said during her regular briefing in response to a question asked by APP.
On March 23, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif formally inaugurated the Thar Coal Block-I Coal Electricity Integration project, an energy cooperation project under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Shehbaz Sharif said that it was a moment of great delight for the whole of Pakistan.
“This was a desert region with the sand dunes only. Now it has been transformed and industrialized. This great project would provide a lot of boost to Pakistan’s economy in the years to come,” the PM added.
The spokesperson said the project would transmit electricity across Pakistan and serve the interest of local economy and people’s livelihood. “The project epitomizes the CPEC as a pilot project of Belt and Road cooperation.”
Mao Ning remarked that CPEC had been in steady progress with fruitful outcomes in energy cooperation, and many job opportunities locally, providing a positive contribution to improving the energy structure and improving energy security in Pakistan.
“China is ready to work with Pakistan to act on the consensus between the two leaders, promote high quality development of CPEC, inject impetus to sustainable socio-economic development and contribute to the well-being of the two countries and to peoples,” she added.
The plant, which was officially put into commercial operation in early February, has two 660-megawatt high-parameter coal-fired generating units, supported by an annual output of 7.8 million tons of lignite open-pit coal mine. It is capable of meeting the electricity demand of four million households in Pakistan.
The Thar Coal Block-I is likely to help Pakistan in reducing fuel imports, saving foreign exchange reserves, optimizing power supply structure and enhancing energy security.