84% work of Bhikki power plant completed
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday said his government was committed to progress and development and undertaking a string of projects across the country to boost national economy generate employment and reduce poverty.
The prime minister was addressing a gathering after reviewing the pace of progress of the Bhikki Power Plant.
The gas-powered Bhikki power plant has a total capacity of 1180 MW and would be fully operational by the end of 2018. Almost 84% work has been completed and the plant would be producing 716 MW initially before summer this year.
He said only a year back he visited the site of the project that was located in between the fields, however, today a huge infrastructure had cropped up in a short span of time.
The prime minister said the pace of progress on the project was very impressive and unbelievable. He said the project would be known in the times ahead for being very cost effective.
He said had the pace of development and progress initiated by him in the early 90s allowed to continue unhindered the country would have been included in the list of developed countries.
He said when his government came to an abrupt end in 1999 it had surplus power and was making remarkable progress in all areas, however, later none of the governments bothered to fulfill their responsibility to meet power shortages and complete the ongoing projects. He said his government re-initiated all stalled projects and particularly mentioned progress on Neelum Jhelum and Lowari Tunnel.
He also recalled the initiation of many old and new projects across the country that included power plants, airports, motorways, metro services; Orange Line in Lahore and KCR for Karachi.
The prime minister said apart from development projects his government was also working hard to turn around the national economy.
He cited a number of leading international publications including CNN, The Economist, Bloomberg, etc. who were acknowledging the marked improvement in economy and the country’s bright future ahead.
The Prime Minister said when he took over in 2013 Pakistan was about to be declared a failed State with its economy on the verge of collapse, however, in a short span of three years the entire situation has changed.
The world today has a very positive opinion and was looking forward to see it emerge as a booming economy. He said it would not only bring a good name to the country but also benefit its people.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said when he took oath of office in 2013 he had a very clear understanding of the challenges ahead and knew that very difficult decisions needed to be taken to reverse the downward slide.
He said he never lied to the nation and never ever made any false promise and the people of the country were now witness that all his promises of putting an end to loadshedding and completion of road networks were being fulfilled. He said he was confident that soon the country would get an additional 10,000 MWs of electricity.
Transmission line to deliver the power generated to the national grid was already completed he added.
He said the Bhikki plant also boasted two largest reservoirs for Hi Speed Diesel that would be used to run the plant.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his vision was to add 30,000 MWs to meet the future needs of the country.
He said today the cost of production of electricity was only Rs 6.36 per unit while in the past the price per unit was as high as Rs 36 through furnace oil. He said with power generation from coal the price of production would further drop.
He said the farmers were already being provided power at Rs 5.35 per unit and added that his government was looking to further reduce the cost to Rs 2 or Rs 3 per unit.
The prime minister said the PML-N government was totally different from others who were in power in the past who were more interested in getting kick backs commission and setting up expensive projects.