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Solar energy system in basic health units across Punjab in the offing

Punjab govt making success in attracting private investment in energy sector

The PML-Nawaz led Punjab government is vigorously pursuing various energy projects including solar energy-based system to fulfill country’s energy need and particularly to the economic growth of the country.

The Punjab government and Turkish Company Zorlu Enerji Holding have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up 200MW solar power project in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur. Under the MoU, the Turkish company will install 200MW solar plant at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, Bahawalpur, while Punjab government will provide all out facilities to Turkish company.

According to Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, the MoU reached with Turkish company will help eliminate darkness of load-shedding from the country. “Historic friendly ties with Turkey are transforming into economic cooperation”, said the Chief Minister of Punjab during the occasion. He said electricity produced from 200MW project will cost Rs5.25 per unit (5.15 cent) that will be a great achievement. This solar project is the best power project of the country, while NEPRA’s tariff currently stands at 10.50 cents, which is an exceptionally high.

Turkish company and Punjab government had earlier signed 100MW solar power project a few days ago and this project will be completed in June, while 200MW project will be completed in December 2017.

Mr. Shahbaz Sharif said under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif along with hectic efforts are being made to overcome energy crisis and work on mega development projects is continuing at the fast track with transparency, speed and in a professional manner. He said the recent agreement shows close cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan. He congratulated Turkish Consul General Serdar Deniz, officials of Turkish Company and the team of Punjab government who are doing a wonderful job.

INSTALLATION OF SOLARY ENERGY SYSTEM

Moreover, the Punjab government has decided to install Solar Energy System in Basic Health Units (BHUs) across the province of Punjab with a sum of Rs1,304.351 million. Under the scheme, the government will complete the project in 16 months. Punjab Health Department will be responsible for overall operation and maintenance after the contract period, while Energy Department will provide requisite technical support, to ensure smooth functioning of solar system. Maximum life of UPS, already installed in BHUs, is calculated for two years, while the solar energy system is now replacing the slow backup system.

The Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) in its 45th meeting has already accorded approval for implementation of scheme of energy sector titled Solar Solutions for BHUs in Punjab with an estimated cost of Rs1,304.351 million.

According to Chairman P&D Jahanzeb Khan, efficient energy would be provided in the BHUs across Punjab, adding solar solutions system was being designed for installation on pillars to be constructed at the roof top of the BHUs buildings.

Sources reveal that the Punjab government had succeeded to attract private investment in energy sector and a number of power projects were under completion. These projects are scheduled on fast track completion within two years and over 8,000MW will be added to the national grid by those private sector projects.

The sources claim that the government is striving for setting up low-cost energy projects so that electricity could be provided to the people at cheaper rates. The Punjab government is making rapid progress in this direction and 3600MW lower-cost gas power plants has been established already which has made NEPRA bring its tariff down.

Furthermore, as per the Asian Development Bank and AFD Bank of France program, 15 thousand schools in the province of Punjab will be converted to solar energy.

The Punjab government is already committed as per its program to shift schools in the province to solar energy. With the cooperation of Asian Development Bank and AFD Bank of France, 700 basic health centers and University of Bahawalpur will also be converted to solar energy. The program will be expanded in a phased manner.

The Punjab government had already completed within a record period a solar project of 100 megawatt in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur, with its own resources and its production has been added to the national grid.

About the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (QASP) project in Bahawalpur, the sources said this was the most viable venture in the country that helped lighten up some 54,000 houses in six months.

The Punjab government was generating 18.5 megawatts per day from this project at a cost of Rs13.5 billion, including tax. “It is more cost-effective than a wind power project,” an official quoted as saying.

About the QASP cost and power generation viability, the sources said the Central Power Purchase Authority had recorded 18.5 megawatts generation from the project. Comparing the first solar power project with wind power plants currently operational in Jhimpir, Sindh, the sources said the 250 megawatts’ four wind power plants were producing 28 to 30 megawatts per day at the cost of $2.1 million per megawatt, while the QASP was producing 18.5 megawatts at the cost of $1.33 million.

Taking time period in account, the solar power production started immediately and its total generation over the years would match the hydro power production.

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