Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said that Pakistan was blessed with abundant natural resources in renewable energy, which needed to be tapped while fabulous prospects of investment opportunities existed in this fast growing sector.
The Prime Minister was talking to a Chinese delegation led by Dr.Shi Zhengrong, Chairman of Suntech China, which called on him here.
The Prime Minister said that the country’s economic growth was suffering due to energy shortages and the government was taking steps on the short, medium and long-term basis to bridge the gap between demand and supply.
He said that solar energy was the cheapest renewable source and efforts were being made to exploit this potential to the optimum level.
The Prime Minister told the delegation that he inaugurated the country’s first on-grid solar power generation system a few days ago, which would produce electricity of 178 MW.
The Prime Minister directed for immediate implementation of solar on-grid projects as well as solar water pumping in Balochistan and other areas of Punjab and Sindh to meet the irrigation needs of agricultural sector.
The Prime Minister was informed that M/s Suntech Power was founded by Dr.Zhengrong Shi in 2001 and the company had a major share in global solar cell production. M/s Suntech have provided more than 20 million solar panels to thousands of companies in over 80 countries, including USA.
The meeting was informed that Suntech would develop projects of 100 MW in suitable regions of Pakistan in phases by installing each plant with generating capacity of 20 MW.
The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Water and Power to extend full facilitation to Suntech in this regard.
The company assured that they were excited to start their operations in Pakistan and would try to meet the timeline to help overcome energy deficiency in the country to the possible extent.
The Chairman of Suntech said that he would visit the areas of Pakistan, which are most suitable for the solar projects that the Company would undertake in future.
Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Secretaries of the Ministries of Economic Affairs Division, Water & Power, Chairman NEPRA, CEO AEDB, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China and senior officials of relevant ministries also attended the meeting.