LAHORE - The Punjab government and China Western Power Company on Sunday signed three memorandums of understanding for cooperation in the energy sector.

Under the agreements, the Chinese company will set up two coal-based power plants of 660 megawatt each in Sahiwal.

The company would also collaborate with the Punjab government to start three coal-based power projects of 150 megawatt each in Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan, besides a 20-megawatt plant for power generation from solid waste would also be established.

Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Jehanzeb Khan and Solid Waste Management Company Managing Director Dr Wasim Ajmal signed the MoUs on behalf of the Punjab government while China Western Power Company chairman Li Ren Chao on behalf of his company.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab Investment Board Vice Chairman, KASB Bank Chairman and other officials concerned were also present on the occasion.

Talking to media, the CM welcomed the Chinese company’s investment in the energy sector. He said the company would establish two plants of power generation in Sahiwal to produce 1,320 megawatt electricity with imported coal. He said the projects would be completed in 30 months. The Chinese company would invest around $1.5 billion in the projects.

Shahbaz said the Punjab government is also setting up three coal-based energy projects of 450 megawatt in Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan and the Chinese company would cooperate in these projects as well. He said the Chinese company will also establish a 20-megawatt project of generation of electricity from solid waste. He said that Pakistan and China are enjoying friendly ties and trade between them is rapidly growing.

The chief minister said that Pakistan is facing energy crisis which has left a negative impact on the national economy.

He said the government is determined to overcome energy crisis and measures are being taken expeditiously for this purpose. He said that collaboration with national and foreign energy companies was being increased. He said that special incentives are being given to foreign investors in the energy sector in Punjab.

Shahbaz reiterated the determination to eliminate energy crisis and said that holding of signing ceremony with the Chinese company on Sunday despite being a holiday is a clear proof of the fact that the government wanted to rid the people of energy crisis and loadshedding. He said that service to the people is his mission and after coming into power, the Pakistan Muslim League-N is engaged round the clock to rid the people of their problems.

Shahbaz said the projects of power generation from coal, solar, biomass, biogas, hydel and other resources are being promoted speedily in Punjab. He said besides the agreement with the Chinese company, an agreement had also been signed with a German company for generation of electricity from solid waste. He said the implementation of these agreements would result in transfer of German and Chinese technology to Pakistan. He said the agreements would be implemented and the Punjab government would extend full cooperation for the timely completion of the projects.

On the occasion, Li Ren Chao said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif is making sincere efforts for resolving energy crisis. He said the company wanted to work with the provincial government in energy sector. He said his company would establish solid waste as well as coal-based power projects in Punjab, and speedy measures would be taken for the completion of these projects within stipulated period.