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Turkish firm to set up 100-MW solar power plant

By our correspondents
January 27, 2017


LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had offered unconditional cooperation to tackle the energy crisis damaging the economy of Pakistan. The 100-MW solar power project at the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur, was the first step in that direction, he added.

He was addressing a ceremony held in connection with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Punjab government and renowned Turkish energy company Zorlu Enerji Holding for establishing a 100-MW project at the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur.

Under the agreement, the Turkish company will complete the project in six months. With a tariff rate of six cents per unit, this project will provide low-price electricity to consumers.

Shahbaz said he had directed the authorities concerned to execute the project within four months without compromising quality. "With the cooperation of the Turkish company, we will provide electricity at the rate of six cents per unit. It will not only benefit the people but also make Nepra whose rotten policies has caused irreparable loss to the energy projects, to slash the tariff, currently fixed at 10.8 cents per unit," he added.

Shahbaz criticised the political opponents for leveling allegations without any proof and said those accusing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of corruption should check their own deeds. The chief minister said the Panama Papers case was before the Supreme Court but the political rivals were not stopping the practice of allegations and lies.

“The opponents are involved in a blame game rather than delivering as we all know that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the capacity to generate electricity from cheaper source of water but it has never been utilised,” Shahbaz said referring to the PTI.

He said there were also those with $60 million in the Swiss banks, adding that new corruption records were also witnessed in the Musharraf era. "Those who are lecturing us over corruption should remember the time when court orders were ignored intentionally after the Supreme Court continuously sought a letter to the Swiss authorities from the attorney general regarding $60 million,” the chief minister said about the PPP.

The indifference on the part of the-then government forced the court to some strict actions, he recalled. Shahbaz made it clear that elections would be held in 2018. “Our opponents too should take part in these elections and accept the decision of the people.” He said the country was making rapid progress under the prime minister’s leadership and no one should create hindrance in the journey of development.

He said China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries, which were assisting Pakistan to steer it out of crisis, should not be misguided. “We have played our two-thirds innings and we now have to do something for our coming generations. We will not indulge in any politics that could result in disgracing us before the coming generations,” Shahbaz remarked.

The chief minister said the economic development targets could not be achieved without overcoming the energy crisis, adding that traditional as well as alternative sources were being utilised for implementing the power generation projects.

He also promised that the PML-N government would complete the ongoing development projects, especially those in the energy sector, both at the federal and provincial levels to lessen the problems of the people.

The CEO of Zorlu Enerji expressed the hope that more projects would be established. The Turkish consul general said the agreement would result in enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries.