LAHORE: The Punjab government has earmarked Rs 31 billion for the energy sector in 2014-15 budget including a Rs 9 billion block allocation for 1,000-MW Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur besides making investments in 1,620-MW coal power plants in Sahiwal and Faisalabad.
Out of the total Rs 31 billion allocations, Rs 22 billion have been fixed for energy projects and Rs 17 billion will be spent on new projects while Rs 4.294 billion will be spent on ongoing projects. The Punjab government will also get Rs 3.05 billion in foreign aid for ongoing energy projects.
The government has allocated Rs 18.182 billion for the Energy Department as compared to Rs 3.531 billion allocated during 2013-14. Also, Rs 1.050 billion have been allocated for survey investigation and research as compared to Rs 145 million for the ongoing fiscal; Rs 9 billion block allocation has been made for the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park, including Rs 84 million for its consultancy services to prepare master plan and Rs 1 million for advertising and publicity of this project. The project will start contributing 100 MW of electricity to the national grid by December 2014.
Similarly, Rs 4 billion have been allocated for new initiatives in the energy sector, Rs 2 billion for the Energy Efficacy Conservation Programme, Rs 2 billion for the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park, Rs 5 million for the Energy Complex in Lahore and Rs 5 million for biogas power plant at Buffalo Research Institute, Bhuneki, Pattoki.
Moreover, Rs 2.163 billion have been allocated for acquisition of land for coal-fired power projects at Sahiwal; Rs 30 million for Renewable Energy Development Programme (construction of Marala Hydel Power Station); Rs 50 million have been allocated for the feasibility studies for removal of 36 villages from the national grid; Rs 50 million for co-generation power plants using bagasse-cum-coal in sugarcane producing districts of the province while Rs 50 million for biomass power plants to be set up near wheat and rice producing areas.
Also, Rs 4 million have been allocated for installation of solar panels at Islamia University of Bahawalpur; Rs 35 million for provision of solar panels to households below the poverty line; Rs 35 million for purchase of plant and machinery and Rs 40 million for installation of solar plants at government offices.
During his budget speech, the finance minister said that the Punjab government was striving to generate energy from all of available resources.
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