THAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari Friday jointly performed ground-breaking of the $1.6 billion Thar Coal power project to help the country meet its energy needs.
The project will initially provide 660MW of power for the country’s energy starved industrial units. It will be completed in 2017 and help spur economic development and bring energy security to the country. The two leaders of PML-N and PPP performed the ground-breaking of the project that will be carried out by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) - a joint venture between Engro Powergen and the government of Sindh.
In his address Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the launch of the project along with Asif Ali Zardari had sent a message across that the political leadership should be united when it comes to the development of the country. He said this political trend must be set in Pakistan now and the leaders need to think about the country first regardless of their differences. He thanked Zardari for inviting him to the ground-breaking of the Thar Coal project and said it was a matter of satisfaction that “we all are together and have the same priorities”.
“Anyone who believes in the development of Pakistan would be pleased that the country’s political leadership is together on this national event.” He said all political parties need to accept the mandate of the people. He appreciated Zardari for open-heartedly accepting the success of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in the 2013 general election, as his party did in 2008 elections for Pakistan Peoples Party.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed the Thar Coal project a big national development project and suggested that the coal for all projects in Gaddani should be supplied from Thar. He said the government was working on several power generation projects including hydel and nuclear generation. He said the recently launched nuclear power project in Karachi would generate 2,200MW, while the Dasu, Diamer and Bunji dams on Indus River would generate 15,000MW electricity.
He said the Thar Coal project would eventually produce 6600 MW of power. The prime minister said three power projects would be completed in 2017, including Jhimpir Wind Power project in Thatta, CASA 1000 and Tarbela Dam upgradation. He said efforts were afoot to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pledged that in one and a half year the problem of gas shortage in the country would be addressed. He said the project will usher in an era of prosperity and development for the people of Tharparkar.
He also seconded the suggestion of Zardari of setting up an industrial park in Thar that would generate employment for the people. He said the federal government will contribute in its development. “The progress of any province is the prosperity of entire Pakistan,” he added. Referring to Youth Business Loan Scheme, the prime minister said quota on the basis of population of the province would be ensured and there would be no discrimination with any province.
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