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Energy Council approves 100MW solar project

Punjab Energy Council on Thursday gave formal approval to the projects which would start production of 100-megawatt solar energy at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in the first phase from the start of next year. Besides solar energy, the Council agreed to pay due attention to hydel power projects for which a special committee was set up for preparing a comprehensive report by the next meeting of the Council. The Council also approved the plan to gradually convert agri tube-wells to biogas and to give subsidy to the farmers for install biogas-energy tube-well. Diesel worth billions of rupees would be saved by this plan.

The Council met here with Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in the chair. Provincial ministers Sher Ali Khan, Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Dr. Farrukh Javed, and senior officers of the concerned departments also attended the meeting.

Chief Minister told the meeting that solution to energy crisis is a big challenge which the government has accepted giving it top priority. He said that two solar parks are being set up at Lal Sohanra and Din Garh in Bahawalpur and the foundation stone of former will soon be laid while initial production of 50 megawatt from each project will start in the first quarter of the next year. He said that planning has also been made for the supply of electricity from Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park to the national grid. He said that government is also concentrating on hydel power projects as there are vast opportunities of generation of hydel power in the province.

Setting up a special committee headed by Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister said that this committee will review the letter of intent issued for hydel projects and present its report regarding the progress made in this regard. He said that no extension will be given in the letter of intent. Shahbaz Sharif directed Chief Secretary to arrange a scientific study regarding biogas tube-wells and present a comprehensive mechanism in this regard in the next meeting.

He said that extension wing of Agriculture Department has always been very important in the development of agriculture sector and this wing should be reactivated. He directed NTDC officials that after 100 megawatt power project they should immediately start work on the supply of 400 and 600 megawatt electricity to the national grid station.

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