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Energy woes: Shahbaz seeks US investor’s support

“The energy crisis in the country has affected all sectors of the economy,” Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Wednesday.

He was talking to a delegation of General Electric led by Nabil Habayeb, the chief executive officer of the company in Middle East, South Africa and Turkey.

Speaking at the occasion, the chief minister said the government was taking emergency steps to overcome the shortfall.

He said a number of agreements had been signed with local and foreign energy companies.

“I invite local as well as foreign companies to invest in energy sector in the country,” he said.

He said General Electric’s cooperation in overcoming the crisis would be welcome.

Minister for Energy Sher Ali Khan, Planning and Development chairman, energy secretary, agriculture secretary, General Electric Pakistan CEO Sarim Sheikh, and Commercial Director Salman Khan were also present at the meeting.

The delegation agreed to enhance cooperation with the government in energy sector.

Sharif said the government was working on energy generation from coal, hydel, wind, solar, biogas and biomass.

He said steps were also being taken to enhance capacity-building in the energy sector institutions.

He said upgrade of supply systems was also a top priority.

He said plans for a setting up a power plant project at Gadani to be run on coal had been drawn up.

He said plans had been drawn up for Quaid-i -Azam Solar Park on 10,000s acres in Bahawalpur.

Sharif said the government was also launching small electricity generation plants that would produce energy though through biomass.

He said the government was aiming for early completion of Nandipur power project.

He said that 1,000 megawatts electricity could be generated through bagasse and sugar mills were being encouraged to use it.

The chief minister said, ”We welcome the cooperation of General Electric with the government. General Electric should submit its recommendations for practicable projects at the earliest.”

He said steps were being taken to import LNG. He said the government was also working on a strategy to conserve energy.

Habayeb said, “We want to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis. General Electric is willing to work with the government and steps will be taken for enhancing cooperation in this regard.”

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