Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir on Wednesday said that the government laid a foundation to provide inexpensive electricity to the masses, adding that no new power project would be set up based on imported fuel in future.
Addressing a press conference here, the minister said that foundation was being laid for provision an inexpensive electricity in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the proposed solar energy project would be completed at earliest.
Solar projects having 1-4 MW capacity would be set in rural areas of the country while all government buildings would be switched to solar energy, he added.
The minister said both local and foreign investors had shown keen interest in investing in solar energy projects.
The investors were being briefed on 600 MW initial solar project and 11,000 MW electricity would be added to the national grid in the coming years, he added.
He said the government had decided to optimally utilize indigenous sources of energy instead of relying on expensive imported fuel for generation of electricity.
Shifting the entire electricity generation on indigenous sources would not only help lessen burden on national exchequer but would also provide electricity to the consumers at affordable rate, he said.
He said the solar energy would also help decrease environmental pollution, he added.
Khurram said coal and oil prices witnessed sharp increase of 300-400 per cent at the international market during the current year. The consumers could not afford such hike, he added.
He said now all new power projects would be set up on local resources including wind, solar, hydel, nuclear and Thar coal.
Currently, the government was working on a number of power projects which would add 2000 MW to the national grid by next year, he said.
He said prices of solar and wind energy were around 50-60 per cent less than other fuel, adding that solar project of 600 MW would be placed before the investor.
The project would be awarded to the lowest bidder, he added.
He said Lahore-Matiari-Lahore transmission line had already been operationalized and projects would be set up where transmission line has already been available.
He said it had also been decided to convert expensive power projects based on imported costly fuel would be switched on alternate local fuel.
The minister said work would also be kicked on wind power project side by side with solar power projects.
'Work on hydel projects has also been expedited,' he added.
The Karot project has been started its production since June 2022, he added.
1,320 MW Shanghai Thar coal power project would start supplying generation by end of this year, he said.
He said subsidy was being provided to the consumers using 200-300 units under fuel cost adjustment which would benefit 75 per cent consumers.
Coming hard on the past government, the minister said that the incumbent government inherited Rs 2,468 billion circular debt and Rs 5600 billion budget deficit.
The present government had reduced Rs 258 billion circular debt in last three months, he said.