LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park Project in Cholistan will produce 1,000 MW of electricity for the next 25 years without the input of expensive fuel – neither oil nor gas – which will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in the region. He said that sunrays and sand available in this area will serve as reservoirs of oil or gas for the country. He also said that by laying the foundation stone of the first power project with generation capacity of 100 megawatts of electricity in the largest solar park of South Asia, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his resolve and displayed his profound commitment to defeat darkness and make the country self-sufficient in electricity by tapping every source of energy – from sunrays to wind and from water to coal.
According to a handout, the chief minister was addressing a function after laying the foundation stone of the first 100 MW power project in the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park at the lawns of Islamia University of Bahawalpur.
The chief minister said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership had promised during electioneering that its government would overcome energy crisis and that solar park project was a big step towards fulfilment of this promise.
He said that foundation stones of two coal-fired power plants with generation capacity of 1,320 MW of electricity would be laid in Sahiwal by the end of May. He said that hard work and the PML-N leadership’s spirit of service to the masses had made the launching of several power projects within one year possible.
He said that though the 100 MW solar power project was scheduled to be completed in December 2014, every effort would be made to get energy from this project in the months of October and November.
He said that the government would also try its level best to get 10 MW of electricity from this project during Ramazan so that uninterrupted electricity supply could be ensured to Bahawalpur and adjoining districts during the holy month.
Chief Minister Shahbaz said that the people of southern Punjab had expressed full confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by voting for the PML-N candidates and that the solar power project was merely a ‘pay-off’ for their support to the PML-N.
He said that unprecedented $32 billion investment package ‘gifted’ by China to the people of Pakistan reflected the confidence of the Chinese government in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He said that work on the Nandipur Power Project – also launched with the cooperation of China – was going on round the clock and that first turbine of the plant would start electricity generation very soon.
Maintaining that development projects were being executed in a completely transparent manner, the chief minister announced that he was ready to resign if corruption of even a single penny in any project launched by the federal or by the provincial government of the PML-N was established.
He said that all of the promises made with the people during election campaigning would be honoured at all costs and that Pakistan would be transformed into a modern welfare state in accordance with the vision of Allam Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After laying the foundation stone of the project, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inspected solar energy panels and also met with Chinese engineers overseeing the project.
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