China to invest $20bn in energy sector: Shahbaz

* Punjab CM says heavy investment expected in Punjab’s energy sector
China to invest $20bn in energy sector: Shahbaz
AFP

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that China has promised to invest $20 billion in the energy sector to rid the people of Pakistan of power load shedding. 
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his delegation met heads of different energy companies, financial institutions, development agencies and banks in Beijing on the third day of his visit to China and discussed various proposals for investment in coal, solar and hydropower projects in Punjab. 
Heavy investment in energy sector is expected in the province as a result of these meetings. The chief minister informed Chinese investors that a solar power plant in south Punjab will start operating by the end of the current year. He said that in order to facilitate investors the Punjab government will initially make investment in various energy projects. 
He said that there is a vast scope of setting up power plants operated with hydro, solar, wind and coal-fired energy and the Punjab government is offering the best rate of profit to investors. He said that the projects to be started with Chinese cooperation will be executed with the same speed at which the metro bus project was completed in Lahore. 
Talking to media, the chief minister said that the agreement reached between China and Pakistan on Wednesday in Beijing is of historic significance. 
He said that under the agreement China will make investment of billions of rupees in Pakistan and it will be the heaviest Chinese investment in Pakistan in the history of the country. He said that China has promised to invest twenty billion dollars in energy sector only to rid the people of Pakistan of power load shedding. 
Shahbaz Sharif said that heavy investment by China in Pakistan is a proof of its confidence in the leadership of the country. 
He said that Chinese leadership is fully aware of the fact that the reigns of the country are in the hands of those people who believe in practical work and are totally sincere and committed to the nation. Later, the chief minister attended a reception hosted by the Chinese prime minister. 
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister expressed gratitude to the Chinese premier for announcing to cooperate in the construction of motorway from Lahore to Multan. 
“The visit of the Punjab chief minister has been greatly helpful in removing reservations of Chinese authorities and investors created during the tenure of the former government,” a statement said on Thursday. The chief minister informed the Chinese leadership and investors about the efforts made by the federal and provincial governments since coming into power for increasing electricity production. 
“When the chief minister informed in a meeting about the ruination of Nandipur power project by the previous government and its successful revival by the Punjab government, the participants were shocked to know how this power plant, which is worth billions of dollars, was kept pending for three years and how it was given a new life by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif,” the statement said. 
Chief Minister Shahbaz with the help of photographs informed the participants that eighty percent work on the project has been completed and its first turbine will start operating from May.

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