LAHORE - An agreement for the production of 300MW solar-based electricity was signed between the government of Punjab and the Chinese company under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), here on Friday. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was chief guest of the ceremony held at Model Town.

According to the agreement, Chinese company Zonergy will complete 300MW project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur under CPEC by December 25, this year. The 50MW solar project will start producing electricity by August 14, 2015 while 600MW solar project will provide electricity by the end of 2016. Agreements of energy purchase and implementation were also signed between the Chinese companies and the Federal govt.

Talking to media on the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said that documents of agreement for the first project have been signed that day, which is the great beginning of CPEC. “This is the beginning point of a long journey of development and prosperity.” The Chief Minister said that the dream is materializing due to the untiring efforts of Chinese President, Prime Minister, people, Chinese Ambassador and Consul General in Pakistan and all concerned departments. He said that under CPEC, $33 billion have been allocated only for energy projects. He said that this agreement is the first drop of the rain and under CPEC, Chinese investment of Rs 140 billion will be made on 900mw solar project. He said that the contact of solar project was given to Zonergy by Chinese government and there is 100 percent Chinese investment in this 900MW solar project.

He said that 100MW solar project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is providing electricity to national grid. He said that a total of 1000 MW solar projects will be set up at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park and this will be the biggest solar park in the region. The Chief Minister said that work is continuing speedily on 1320MW coal-based energy project in Sahiwal that will complete by 2017. The CM said a new era of development and prosperity will be ushered in the country through implementation on CPEC and he is thankful to Chinese President and people. Shahbaz Sharif said that this Chinese investment is a great favour to Pakistan and now the ball is in our court. Shahbaz Sharif appealed to big investors of the country to spend money in Pakistan as their countrymen have first right over the wealth.

Replying to a question, he said that the people will foil the conspiracies against CPEC. He said that earlier it was said in the false propaganda that these are Chinese loans but the entire nation has seen that facts are contrary to it. The Chief Minister said that 18 crore people will foil the conspiracy of a few miscreants.

He said that sincere efforts are being made for coping with the energy crisis. He said that China has supported Pakistan sincerely and there will be negligible load-shedding by 2017-18.

He said that energy crisis is a burden of the last one decade and now China has shared this burden. Shahbaz Sharif expressed his belief that projects will be executed with the cooperation of China, darkness will be removed and there will be light.

He said that no one could harm us till the nation is united. Shahbaz Sharif said that if shortage of electricity removed, two percent growth rate of the country will automatically increase. He said that the work regarding up-gradation of transmission lines is continuing at federal level.

Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said that he is deeply grieved over the deaths due to hot weather in Karachi. He prayed that may Allah Almighty grant courage and strength to the members of the bereaved families. He said that it will be highly unjust to do politics on deaths in Karachi. He said that there should be no politics on these deaths at any cost rather we should express sympathies with those who lost their dear and near ones. Shahbaz Sharif told that Karachi Electric Supply Corporation is getting 650MW electricity from PEPCO since the tenure of Zardari. He said it was decided twice in Council of Common Interests that 350 megawatt of electricity of KESC should be reduced and only 300 megawatt be given but this decision was not implemented.