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CM forms body on coal power projects

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that all options in Punjab would be seriously considered for overcoming energy crisis and solid measures would be taken expeditiously for this purpose.

He said that there was a vast potential of power generation from coal in Punjab and coal-based power generation projects would be fully encouraged. He said facilities and cooperation would be extended, especially for investment in power generation projects of 1,000 to 2,000 megawatts, for controlling the power crisis and providing relief to the masses as soon as possible.

Shahbaz was addressing a joint meeting of Railways, National Logistics Cell, investors and experts regarding energy problem in Islamabad on Tuesday.

He said that in view of the historic mandate, given to the PML-N by the masses, the first priority of the government was solution to the energy crisis. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was determined to take steps under a comprehensive strategy for generation of cheap electricity for overcoming power shortage. He said the PML-N government was committed to resolving the energy problem and measures were being taken expeditiously at every level for the purpose. He said all possible steps would be taken for energy conservation and curbing the power and gas theft while indiscriminate action would be taken in this regard. The CM said that besides making planning for setting up power generation projects of 50 megawatt each from bigasse, solar power and other alternative sources, coal-based projects for generation of electricity were also being considered and would be launched with the help of private sector under public-private partnership. The chief minister also constituted a committee, comprising Railways officials, investors and experts interested in setting up energy generation projects from coal. The committee would consider the experiences of various countries regarding the projects for generation of power from coal, minimizing expenditure, feasibility of the projects and transportation and give a final shape to recommendations. Minister for Railways Kh Saad Rafique said the number of freight trains would be increased and all-out facilities would be provided to investors for transportation of imported coal for power generation projects. Chairman Nishat Group Mian Muhammad Mansha informed the meeting that power generation projects from coal, instead of furnace oil, had been set up in cement factories and some other industries and compared to thermal power, cheap electricity could be produced from coal. Mansha said he would extend all out assistance to the Railways authorities in formulating recommendations regarding transportation of coal imported in the country and implementation of coal-based power generation projects in Punjab from coal would also be considered. Provincial Minister for Energy and Mineral Development Ch. Sher Ali Khan, Secretary Railways Arif Azeem, senior officials of NLC, Brig. Mushtaq and Brig. Masood as well as officers concerned were present.

CM greets Hamid Mir: Shahbaz Sharif has congratulated Hamid Mir on being elected unopposed chairman of Punjab University ICS Alumni Association. In a message on Monday, the CM said that unopposed election of Hamid Mir as chairman was acknowledgment of his impartial approach and professional abilities in journalism. He expressed the hope that Mir would come up to the expectations of the PUICS Alumni Association.

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