ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar and Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif Tuesday co-chaired the meeting to review logistics requirements for imported coal transportation to proposed power plants in Punjab province.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, Minister for Port and Shipping Kamran Michael, Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Secretary Water and Power, Saifullah Chatta and senior officials of the federal and provincial governments.
On the occasion, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique informed the participants that the Pakistan Railways has made initial study for route map in order to transport imported coal to six coal fired power plants to be set up in Punjab.
He informed that necessary work for double line upto Lahore was already in progress adding that procurement of high traction locomotives and high capacity wagons would be required to meet the expected demand of transporting 36 million tons of coal per annum by year 2018 when all the coal fired power plants would be operational.
The Minister for Port and Shipping informed that capacity development at Port Qasim and Karachi Port Trust will have to be undertaken for loading and unloading arrangements at terminals.
The meeting was informed that the private sector can be involved to enhance the capacity at the two ports.
Secretary Water and Power informed that the sites of the proposed power plants in Punjab already have the necessary infrastructure of transmission lines and capacity to meet the requirements.
However, he said that wherever required additional transmission lines will be set up on joint venture basis.
On the occasion, the finance minister suggested that instead of separate feasibility reports by each of the three ministries, an integrated plan in collaboration with Infrastructure Project Development Facility of the Finance Division, should be made.
He said that wherever possible, public private partnership or joint ventures with the private sector should be explored and added the sites should be selected keeping in view the availability of dual railway track, transmission lines and related infrastructure.
Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif said that the environmental impact assessment should be made at the earliest.
He informed the meeting that globally it is considered that 660MW power plants are more efficient adding that the Punjab Government plans to complete two power plants by 2017 and remaining four by year 2018.
He said that two pair each at six sites would produce 7820MW of electricity which will fill the gap between demand and supply even in summer adding for the industrial development of the country, we need to shift to cheaper fuel and more efficient power plants.