DERA MURAD JAMALI
Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif on Friday declared that the days of blackouts are numbered and there would be lights all over the country in the next three years.
Nawaz made the announcement after inaugurating the 404 megawatt Uch II power plant at Dera Murad Jamali that will contribute an aggregate of 990MW to the national grid. The power plant has been constructed by French company GDF SUEZ.
Addressing the gathering at the inauguration ceremony, Nawaz said Balochistan was neglected in the past but his government would take steps to mitigate the sense of deprivation of the Baloch. He said his government had planned a big development programme for Balochistan.
He announced to install two separate power lines from Uch II Power Plant to Naseerabad and Sibi divisions of Balochistan. The PM said the power project was significant mainly for two reasons firstly it would be based on an indigenous gas by substituting expensive liquid fuel thus saving foreign exchange and secondly it has been set up in Balochistan.
He commended the French company for successful commissioning of the project which he said was a valuable addition to the national grid. He said GDF Suez had been a reliable energy partner for Pakistan for many years and was also playing its role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan. He invited the company to undertake more investment in energy projects.
Nawaz said the electricity shortfall in the system had a very negative impact on the country’s development. He said new power projects were being constructed using conventional and renewable energy resources and technologies. He mentioned that the government’s steps in this regard, including clearing of Rs 500 billion of circular debt and initiating the work on Neelum Jhelum project and Nandi Pur project, will add 959 MW and 425 MW to the national grid respectively.
He also announced that the government would ensure provision of gas to each and every city of Balochistan within three years. The PM directed Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to monitor the project and ensure its completion on time.
This is the second power project to be inaugurated by Nawaz in a week.
Earlier on April 21, he inaugurated commissioning of additional power units at the Guddu Thermal Power Plant.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said the project would contribute to overcoming the energy shortage and would invite further foreign investment in Balochistan. He said the project will not only help in curtailing the present power shortages but also provide cheap electricity to the consumers and save precious foreign exchange in oil imports.