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Punjab to produce over 350MW from alternative energy

The Punjab government has selected 11 sites for the production of electricity from five alternative and renewable energy sources including solar, coal, biogas, biomass and wind and will woo the private sector to invest in these projects, a government official says. A significant number of interested investors were expected to inject capital into these ventures and some had already been issued letters of interest by the government for initiating civil works and import of machinery, the official, who was aware of the developments, told The Express Tribune. These projects will produce 358 megawatts of electricity, of which 200MW will come from four coal-based power plants, 140MW from solar plants, 3MW from biogas, 8MW from wind and 10MW from biomass. According to a study conducted by the provincial government in association with interested investors, Cholistan enjoys the potential to produce 130MW of solar power and a site in the suburbs of Kasur has the capacity to produce 10MW from the same source. For coal-fired projects, four sites have been identified – one each in Katha Sughral in Khushab district, Choa Saidan Shah Chakwal, Lila Pind Dadan Khan and Malikwal. Each of these will produce 50MW of electricity. The government will construct two biogas plants on the outskirts of Lahore, one with a capacity of 2.5MW in Gowala Colony, Rakh Chand Rai and another of 1.5MW in Harbanspura. The wind project will be developed at Kallar Kahar that will produce 8MW of electricity. The biomass plant will be installed in any city producing a huge quantity of wheat and sugarcane as this will consume the raw material of these crops for the production of 10MW In 2011, the Punjab government established an independent energy department with a vision β€œto utilise all available resources in the province to provide affordable energy to all segments of the provincial economy through increase in generation and conservation.” The province has also set up the Punjab Power Development Board to facilitate private sector investment in the power sector.

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