Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated two coal-fired power plants in Tharparker with a capacity of 1,650 megawatt of electricity generation, saying that the projects would turn the desert into an economic hub.
The projects including the 1,320 megawatt Shanghai Electric power plant and 330 MW Thal Nova power plant will annually generate 11.24 billion units of low-cost electricity. Through the direct investment of $3.53 billion into these projects, the production of coal-based electricity in Thar will increase up to 3,300 MW.
Addressing the launch event at the Islamkot area of Thar, the prime minister said it was a moment of celebration for the entire country that the desert of Tharparker was getting a source of basic facilities for life. He dismissed the criticism by a section of people against Thar's coal, terming it a blessing with immense potential for power resources that needed to be untapped. He expressed confidence that the journey of progress would spread across the country and would strengthen the national economy. The projects, which were abandoned during the last four years, are being made operational on the directive of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
PM Sharif said by April 30, the power turbines would be installed at the projects to generate electricity, which would be supplied to the rest of the country through transmission lines. He expressed gratitude to the government of China for extending support to Pakistan in carrying out development projects under the CPEC.
He vowed that the coalition government would put in all efforts to materialize the CPEC projects, with the agriculture sector as its next phase. He announced a hospital for the people of Tharparker to provide them with medical facilities at their doorsteps. The prime minister said no one was above the law and would not be allowed to support terrorists and use them as shields.