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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Thursday that the government had decided to announce national solar energy policy to deal with energy issues in the country on August 1, 2022.

He was addressing a press conference, after a meeting of Renewable Energy Task Force presided over by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The enforcement of this policy will be linked to the approval by Council of Common Interests (CCI).

According to the policy, solar power plants with seven thermal plants will be installed where pre-existing space and transmission lines are available. Solar policy will help reduce the cost of electricity. Solar policy has been drafted by the Task Force headed by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The Minister said the government had also decided to install one megawatta solar power stations where space was available at the feeders across the country. The first phase of solar plants will generate 2,000MW of electricity.

In reply to a question, he said the government buildings would be converted to solar, the best example of which was the parliament building. Solarization of Parliament House is saving millions of rupees every year on electricity bills.

According to the Minister, nationwide tube-wells would be shifted to solar. The first priority will be diesel powered and in Balochistan tube wells will be shifted to solar. This facility will be provided to the farmers.

There is also a plan to provide domestic consumers with solar panels up to 3kW, the cost of which would be charged on their bills.

“We hope that if all these projects are done, we can get relief of up to 10,000MW before the summer next year,” he maintained. The project will also reduce the oil import bill.

He stated that power generation from Tarbela Dam has exceeded 3800MW whereas production from Lucky Coal Power Plant and Karot hydropower projects had also commenced, adding that coal shipments had also improved. He said more investors from China were ready to come to Pakistan, asking for security assurances.

One Thar coal project was running successfully whereas another Shanghai project would start production on Thar coal, he continued.

In reply to a question, he said, duration of load-shedding was being reduced in major cities of the country. He said load-shedding would be further reduced during Eid days.

He said Chinese delegation led by the CEO of Karot hydropower project, also met the Prime Minister who was also briefed on the solar policy.

Responding to a question, he said the damage to 29km underground tunnel of 969MW Neelum Jhelum was more serious than expected, adding that sufficient time was required to clear the tunnel.

Responding to another question, the Minister said that revenue based load-shedding would continue in those areas where losses were above 20 percent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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