PM inspects Bin Qasim power project
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday announced a cut in power tariff for industrial users by Rs 3 per unit and urged the exporters to translate it into increased exports for the country.
Addressing the 39th Annual Export Awards Distribution Ceremony under the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), the prime minister assured that as things improved, more cuts would be made to help the industrial community.
The announcement got a standing ovation from a hall full of the country’s top entrepreneurs – reduction in power tarrif had been a longstanding demand of the industrial sector.
The prime minister said the tariff would be applicable from January 1, 2016 and urged the business community to work harder and produce better quality goods, generate employment and earn foreign exchange for the country.
He said his government’s focus was on addressing the three main challenges of improving economy, ending power shortages and countering terrorism, which it inherited by in 2013.
The prime minister said the government was working on short, medium and long term projects to make the country self-sufficient in power generation.
He said the issue of load shedding was being addressed at multiple levels. He recalled his visit to the Port Qasim coal-fired power generation plant and directed that it be completed by 2017.
He said that in financial years 2017-18, 10,000 MW more electricity would be added to the system and another 15,000 MW would be added by the year 2025.
He said that the coal from Thar would be used to generate 3,600 MW electricity. He also referred to setting up of other power plants that were being installed at 40 per cent lesser cost, saving Rs 100 billion for the national exchequer.
He also mentioned the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam, Dasu Dam, Neelum Jhelum and the fourth Tarbella Expansion project as well as nuclear power plants of K2 and K3 which would make the country self-sufficient.
PM VISITS BIN QASIM POWER PROJECT:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also inspected the 1,320 MW coal-fired Bin Qasim power project and directed to ensure its completion by December 2017.
The prime minister asked the concerned Chinese authorities to take steps for making it completely functional by the deadline of December 31, 2017.
He assured the Chinese engineers that the Government of Pakistan was fully supporting the development projects.
He said that the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan was also providing full support to the workforce at the site.
The prime minister was briefed that the project, costing a total of $1.5 billion, would consist of two power houses, each generating 660 MW of electricity.
The prime minister had last year laid foundation of the project which is also a part of the Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
The Chinese authorities expressed their satisfaction over the security situation and the support, given by the government of Pakistan.
They told media personnel that first tranche of $200 million had already been released for the project while international standards were observed for completion of the project.
Earlier, the prime minister was given a briefing on Port Qasim Authority projects including existence of 250 industries set up in its allocated zone, besides 8 operational terminals.
Port Qasim is the busiest and most income generating port in the country, contributing immensely to the national economy.
Government officials said that an LNG terminal was also made operational within a short span of eleven months, converting LNG into gas.
WAPDA ISSUES NOTIFICATION:
Following the prime minister’s announcement, WAPDA has issued a notification announcing the reduction in power tariff. According to the notification, new power tariff will be applicable from January 1, 2016 and the change will be reflected in February 2016’s bills.