LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited 1320 megawatt coal power plant in Sahiwal yesterday and reviewed the progress on the project.

Chinese engineers and experts gave a briefing to the chief minister regarding the progress on the project. Vice Administrator of National Energy Administration of China Li Fanrog, Chinese Counsel General Yu Borne, members of Chinese delegation and senior officers of Chinese companies working on Sahiwal Coal Power Plant were also present on the occasion.

Speaking at briefing session and talking to media, the chief minister said that 60 percent work of Sahiwal Coal Power Project has been completed within a year and it will start generation of electricity in the middle of next year.

He said that work was started on Sahiwal Coal Power Plant in July last year and 60 percent work has so far been completed and this is the unique and biggest project of its kind in Pakistan. He said that such projects are completed within four to five years in the world including China whereas such power plant was also not completed before three years in China.

Sahiwal Coal Power Project will be completed within 23 months, which will set new record in the entire world and this project has also broken Chinese record, he added. Shehbaz Sharif said that this project is of poor people of Pakistan and it is the project of every worker, labourer, officer, judge, general, police, teachers, doctors and of all.

He said undoubtedly this is the result of joint cooperation of Chinese companies and Punjab government that this project is being completed speedily. He said work is being carried out round the clock on the project and expressed the hope that it will start generation of electricity in the middle of next year. He said that propaganda is being made regarding Punjab in connection with CPEC projects.

The chief minister said he wants to tell that investment of 36 billion dollars is being made for the projects of electricity in Pakistan under CPEC. Out of this, 11 billion dollars are being spent on energy projects in Sindh while 6.5 billion dollars on energy projects in Punjab, he added.

Similarly, he said that work is continuing on projects of billions of dollars in KPK and Baluchistan as well. He said it is a matter of pleasure and an honour for us to set up power plants anywhere in the country. Shehbaz Sharif said when Sahiwal Coal Power Project was started, a negative picture was presented regarding it and it was said that this project will not start before ten years.

He said that Sahiwal Coal Power Plant is bigger than Neelam Jhelum Hydro Project. Corruption was committed by rulers of the past in Neelam Jhelum Hydro Project and resources of the country were ruined. He said that 900-megawatt electricity will be generated through Neelam Jhelum Hydro Project while Sahiwal Coal Power Project will produce 1320 megawatt electricity.

Shehbaz Sharif said that national resources were looted ruthlessly in the past and Neelam Jhelum Project is worst example of corruption. He said that Sahiwal Coal Power Project and Nandipur Power Project is comparison of those working and looters of resources. He said that the machinery of Nandipur Power Project rusted at Karachi Port for three years during the tenure of former federal government which caused loss of billions of rupees.