PM wants loadshedding issue resolved before 2018 polls

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the country’s energy mangers on Thursday to take appropriate measures to eliminate loadshedding before the end of his government’s tenure in 2018.

Presiding over a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy at PM House, he directed that the timeline to end loadshedding by 2018 must be met. “We will fulfil our commitment to the nation for eliminating loadshedding before the end of our tenure,” the prime minister said.

The meeting was informed by Water and Power Secretary Younus Dhaga that the country would have surplus electricity of 3,000MW by May 2018.

The meeting was attended by Water and Power Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and senior government officials.

Cabinet Committee on Energy told there will be 3,000MW surplus electricity by May 2018

The committee was briefed by Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain on the status of the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project (NJHPP) and addition of 1,410MW to the 3,478MW Tarbela-4 extension project.

He said appropriate mechanism had been finalised to complete the NJHPP as per schedule, adding that after fine-tuning essentials and non-essentials, the first unit of the project would be commissioned in February 2018, while the remaining units would be functional subsequently before the summer of 2018.

The Wapda chairman said the first unit of Tarbela-4 extension would be ready for inauguration by the prime minister on Aug 14 next year.

Praising the performance of the Wapda chairman, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the progress of work on NJHPP and Tarbela-4 extension. However, he directed the Wapda chairman to ensure transparency while executing the hydropower projects.

The water and power secretary briefed the meeting on benchmarks of the ongoing power projects, including clean energy projects and coal-fired and LNG-based power plants, and said these would add significant electricity to the national grid during 2017 and before March 2018.

The meeting was informed that nine projects of over 1,000MW, including 330MW (wind) and 680MW (nuclear), were ready for inauguration by the prime minister. Thar-Matiari and Port Qasim-Matiari transmission line projects are also ready for groundbreaking by the prime minister.

The meeting was informed that the construction schedule of LNG-based power plants was on track and a similar plant at Bhikki would be completed well ahead of time.

The prime minister stressed the need for effective future planning, along with timely execution of ongoing power generation projects.

“Besides ensuring affordable and sufficient electricity for people, we must make arrangements for future power needs in the wake of increased economic growth and industrial activity,” he said.


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