Inaugurates Sahiwal power plant adding 660 MW to national grid
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said his government’s performance would wash away all the baseless allegations by the opposition, which was impeding nothing but the country’s progress.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the first unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Project on Thursday the Prime Minister said, “They are not impeding or attempting to foil me. They are attempting to obstruct the country’s progress. We will not allow them to affect our pace. People will distinguish between the negative and corrupt elements and those, who delivered.”
He likened hurling accusations on him to destabilising Pakistan, asking how the swift completion of various projects would have been possible if his government was corrupt.
The prime minister said that the incumbent government has made enormous progress on the three major problems it inherited in 2013—power shortage, terrorism and economic issues, adding that load shedding will end in 2018.
“Our efforts are bearing fruit…we have made enormous progress on all three fronts,” he said.
The prime minister added that electricity rates would also be decreased.
He praised the Chinese officials and engineers for working alongside their Pakistani counterparts on the project and completing it in “record” time of 22 months. He also congratulated Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on the completion of the project.
Appreciating the Chinese ambassador for his role in realising the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he called it a gamechanger for Pakistan which has fetched in $56 billion worth of investment.
The prime minister said that the beneficiaries of these projects would be the youth, labourers and those residing in villages.
“Pakistan will become a regional power in few years. No one can stop us from being Asian tiger,” he said.
The prime minister was accompanied by Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali. Ambassador of China in Pakistan Sun Weidong was also present on the occasion.
With total capacity of 1320 megawatt, the project comprises two coal-based power plants of 660MW each. This is one of the early harvest projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
It has been completed in a record 22 months period, six months ahead of the prescribed schedule.
Executed by M/s Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Pakistan Energy Private Limited, the first unit has already been connected to the national grid since May 12 this year while the second unit will be connected during the current month.
The prime minister also visited the control room and different sections of the power plant wherein the Chinese engineers briefed him about the functioning of the plant.
Nawaz Sharif told the charged gathering that he had no time to respond the unfounded accusations of the opposition rather left it up to the people to decide as all of his focus would be on the people’s uplift.
“Now, work (on the development projects) has started and it will not stop,” the prime minister expressed his resolve amid the slogans of `dekho dekho kon aya, sher aya, sher aya’ raised by the crowd.
He said the government had planned to allocate a record budget for development works in next fiscal year as the people would listen to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar delivering the annual budget speech in the National Assembly on Friday.
Lauding the successful execution of the power project in just 22 months, he said it was unprecedented in the country’s history, as usually even the coal shed (a component of the project) took more than two years to complete.
“This is Punjab speed. This is the PML-N speed. Hats off to you Shahbaz Sharif! You called me hero, you are hero yourself,” the prime minister remarked highly acknowledging the services of Punjab chief minister and his team. On the chief minster’s recommendation, the prime minister also announced a one month bonus salary to all of the Chinese and Pakistani workers, who had been part of the project.
Nawaz Sharif said the war against terrorism will continue till the elimination of the last terrorist from Pakistani soil. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has scarified a lot in the war against terrorism.
The Prime Minister said that the completion of first Unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant gigantic project in just 22 months is unprecedented.
He said the role of the Chief Minister Punjab, Chinese Ambassador, Chinese engineers and Pakistani engineers in the completion of the project is best example of Pak-China friendship and partnership.
Earlier, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the first Unit of 660 megawatts at 1320-MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant.
The plant, completed in a record period of twenty two months, has already been linked to the national grid.
The second Unit of the plant with capacity of 660-MW will also start generating electricity from early next month.
The electricity generated from this plant will be available at the rate of 8.11 rupees per unit.
Later, the Prime Minister visited various parts of the plant during which the Chinese engineers gave him briefing about various aspects of the plant.