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Govt decides to generate 3,000 MW electricity from sugarcane bagasse: Mukhtar

Minister for Water and Power, Ch Ahmed Mukhtar has said that 3000 MW cheaper electricity would be generated through sugarcane bagasse on fast track basis and investors would be facilitated and encouraged. He said that necessary amendments would also be made in the existing co-generation and Renewable Energy policies to make it simplified and investors friendly. Presiding over a meeting on fast track development of bagasse based power generation projects here Wednesday the minister said that the government was utilizing all resources to end the energy crisis and the power generation from bagasse would be another step to produce electricity from indigenous resources.

He appreciated the PSMA for taking interest in the bagasse based power projects and assured to provide full cooperation.

Mukhtar said that upfront tariff would be given for these projects. It is also the desire of the President Asif Zardari that sugarcane bagasse should be utilized for cheaper power generation. Initially 1500 mw would be completed on fast track basis, he added.

The meeting reviewed in detail the existing co-generation and Renewable Energy policies and discussed various proposals to simplify it in order to get benefit at the earliest.

The meeting observed that the necessary amendments in the existing policies would help alleviating the power crisis in the country. It was decided that the bagasse based projects would be processed by AEDB under RE policy. A committee was also set up to finalize the recommendations within one week in consultation with all the stakeholders so that the approval taken from the competent forum to start the projects.

Earlier, the meeting was briefed by AEDB and PSMA that Pakistan is the 5th largest producer of sugarcane, produces 50 million tons of sugarcane annually, yielding over 10 million tons of bagasse. Power generation from bagasse would not only reduce the furnace oil import even save 33 to 49 billion of foreign exchange per annum. The country has 87 sugar mills with a capacity to generate 3000 MW electricity from bagasse in winter season.

Additional secretary Ministry of water and Power, MD PPIB, MD NTDC,CEO AEDB, JS Power, JS Entities, a delegation of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) headed by Shunaid Qureshi, senior officials of AEDB, Ministry and Food Security also attended the meeting.

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