All Balochistan cities to get gas in 3 years: PM

DERA MURAD JAMALI: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday announced that government would ensure provision of natural gas to each and every city of Balochistan within three years.

The Prime Minister directed Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to personally monitor this project and ensure its completion on time.

The Prime Minister made the announcement after inaugurating the 404 megawatt Uch-II Power Plant at Dera Murad Jamali that will contribute an aggregate of 990 MW gross electricity to the national grid.

The Uch-II Power Plant, the Independent Power Plant (IPP), has been constructed by GDF SUEZ, a French company, presently working in 70 countries.

Addressing the gathering at the inauguration ceremony here, the Prime Minister said Balochistan was neglected in the past, but the democratic government would take necessary steps to mitigate the sense of deprivation of people of the province.

He said his government had planned a big development programme for Balochistan and its people.

He announced installation of two separate power lines from Uch-II Power Plant to Naseerabad and Sibbi Divisions of Balochistan.

The Prime Minister said the power project was significant mainly for two reasons; firstly, it would be based on an indigenous gas by substituting expensive liquid fuel, thus saving foreign exchange, and secondly it has been set up in Balochistan.

He commended the contribution of GDF Suez for successful commissioning of the project which he said was a valuable addition to the national grid.

He said GDF Suez had been a reliable energy partner for Pakistan for many years and was also playing its role in the socio-economic development of the province.

He invited the French company to undertake more investment in Pakistan’s energy projects.

Nawaz Sharif said the electricity shortfall in the system had a very negative impact on the development of the country.

He said new power projects were being constructed using conventional and renewable energy resources and technologies.

He mentioned that the government’s steps in this regard including clearing of Rs 500 billion of circular debt, and initiating the work on Neelum Jhelum project and Nandi Pur project
that will add 959 MW and 425 MW to the national grid respectively.

Besides, development of Thar Coal Project, Jhimpir project in Sindh and solar projects in Punjab are also prominent steps to overcome power shortage, he said.

Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said the project would contribute to overcoming the energy shortage and would invite further foreign investment in Balochistan.

He said the project will not only help in curtailing the present power shortages, but also provide cheap electricity to the consumers and save precious foreign exchange in oil imports.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resource Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister of State Abid Sher Ali were also present.