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5 bio-power generation plants to be set up in Punjab

The Punjab government has decided to set up five bio mass resource power generation plants including one 20 Megawatt plant in Multan to overcome electricity shortage by exploiting vast green energy potential in the province.

Assistant director agriculture information Multan Naveed Asmat Kahlon told a group of progressive growers here Thursday that 20 Megawatt plants would be set up each in Multan and Faisalabad, 10 Megewatt capacity plants in Kala Shah Kaku and Rahimyar Khan, and a 2 Megawatt plant in Daska. The projects would be undertaken on public-private partnership mechanism and would add 62 MW electricity to the national grid after completion.

Electricity generation by exploiting green energy is comparatively cheaper and environment friendly. Kahlon said, a strategy was also being prepared to ensure availability of crop bio-mass, its supply system, required quantity and machinery required to generate power.

Experts were engaged in devising a bio-mass management system with a view to reduce cost of transportation of bio-mass to desired places. Kahlon said that crop waste processing plants would also be set up to make crop waste usable for electricity generation.

Official said that a Crop Bio Mass Cell has also been set up in Punjab agriculture department to coordinate with the organizations and departments having expertise in generating electricity from green energy. The cell would also assess the quantity of bio-mass that can be collected, and strategy for its proper storage.

Information/data regarding all kind of big and small crops grown in Punjab would be conveyed to the organizations having experience of bio-mass power generation or engaged in research on the subject so as to find opportunities of cooperation or partnership at national and international level to achieve the objective.

According to a recent survey of Punjab agriculture department, around 28 million ton crop waste including husk from wheat, cotton sticks, besides waste from rice and maize can be utilized to generate electricity.

Moreover, research bodies including Agriculture Mechanization Research Institute Multan, Agriculture university Faisalabad and others were engaged in exploring alternate means of energy and to finalize a set of doable recommendations to produce electricity from crop waste. It will help the government and its partners to finalize a flawless strategy to produce green electricity.

The initiative taken by Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was commendable and growers should extend their full cooperation by preparing a system to collect and keep crop waste for its utilization to generate electricity, Kahlon said.

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