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Ashraf switches on 201MW power plant

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf inaugurated the 201MW Reshma Power Plant, currently contributing 40MW as test generation to the national grid, at Raiwind near here Saturday.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the Minister said that energy is the greatest challenge to the present democratic government, which it inherited by previous regime. The utter failure of the past government is manifested from the fact that it did not add even a single mega watt to the national grid, thus widening the power supply and demand gap in the country, he added.
Raja Pervaiz resolved, “We have to surmount this difficulty by giving a road-map to pull the country out energy crises.”
He cited that present government has under taken various mega hydel power projects, an inexpensive means of energy, including Neelum-Jhelum Power Station, Diamir-Bhasha Dam, Dasoo Dam, Bunji Dam and hydel project at Kohala.
Since the hydel power projects require eight to nine years for completion, he said, the government has initiated a number of projects of alternate and renewable energy resources to narrow down the electricity demand-generation gap to keep industrial wheel on moving.
He said, the PPP-led coalition government has also put the non-functional or dysfunctional Independent Power Producers (IPPs) on ‘fast track’ to ensure their smooth generation. “So far, we have managed to add 1800MW to the main power system through these initiatives,” he maintained.
Unlike previous regime, he added, “Our government has taken initiative to get optimum benefit from the treasure of  Thar Coal, and we have gone in a big way, as several companies are working on this vital project.
Talking to media at the end of the ceremony, he said, though Rental Power Plants (RPPs) are expensive source of energy than IPPs and hydel power generation, these are better than the non-availability of energy, which ultimately hamper country’s industry and other important sectors.
To a question, the minister said that various power projects have by and large delayed from their commissioning date (CoD) mainly due to terrorism and poor law and order situation. The projects, initiated in year 2002-03 and had to complete in 2007, could not commissioned even Saturday, he added.
He said, the government had convened experts meeting, where they gave a road-map for elimination of load-shedding, which could not be ended because of invisible delays and obstacles. -APP


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