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Govt focused on strengthening transmission network: power minister | Business

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said on Wednesday that current transmission network needs to be strengthened and made reliable to support the government’s aim of achieving sustainability in the system, according to a press release.

The federal minister was chairing the 115th meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held here today.

In the meeting, he said that the Government of Pakistan realises the importance of transmission lines in supporting the upcoming power generation projects.

He stated that the GoP is working on upgrading the existing transmission network to make it more reliable and efficient, adding that the National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC) has been asked to take the requisite measures.

At the same time, the private sector is being encouraged to contribute in network expansion, he said.

So far, Pakistan’s first ever HVDC Transmission Line project has already been initiated in the private sector under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while several other projects are being planned to launch through international competitive bidding, said the federal minister.

Managing Director PPIB Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the board on various projects being implemented under the CPEC.

In today’s meeting, the Board approved extension in Financial Close deadline of +660 kV HVDC Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line, being processed under the CPEC, said the press statement.

The board also allowed extension in Financial Close deadlines of Thar coal based power projects under the CPEC, which include 330 MW Project by Thar Energy Limited and 330 MW Project by ThalNova Thar Pvt. Ltd.

The federal minister said that the current government believes in the policy of facilitating investors, and extending full support to them for processing and timely completion of their projects.

Managing Director PPIB Mirza, while briefing the Board on the performance of PPIB, stated that extensive efforts are being done to cultivate Thar coal and hydro potential for power generation.

Mirza briefed the board that the PPIB is successfully meeting the challenging and ambitious timelines of the current government for the addition of huge quantum of power generation capacity in the national grid.

He said that the progress is evident from the fact that within a period of less than one year, two projects of 1467 MW have started commercial operations while another four projects of 5000 MW cumulative power capacity have achieved partial commissioning as well, as per the statement.

The federal minister remarked that sustainability in power system is a must-do task of the GoP, next to balancing the demand-supply situation, adding that merely providing additional megawatts would not be sufficient to gain real goals.

Pakistan’s future lies in the indigenous and renewable energy for which serious efforts are being put in the National Electricity Plan and a new energy policy are the measures to consolidate these efforts, which will act as a guide for future capacity expansions as well as choice of fuels etc, he said.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Power Ch. Abid Sher Ali, Mr. Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Secretary Ministry of Energy (Power Division), Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain, Chairman WAPDA, representatives of Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan provinces and AJ&K), a private sector member, besides, Executive Director and Directors of PPIB and other senior government officials. 

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