Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that completion of 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Plant in a record period of 22 months is a story of continued hard work, transparency, efficiency, trust and honesty.
This project has broken not only world record but also that of China by completion in minimum period of time. The beautiful project which Pakistan and Chinese leadership dreamt of in 2013-14 has achieved its first milestone in shape of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant today and this project is a significant milestone from every respect. The Sahiwal Coal Power Project is first mega initiative of CPEC which has been playing a wonderful role in strengthening of national economy.
The project which has been completed with a cost of Rs.180 billion was signed in April 2015. It was agreed upon that this project would be completed on December 25, 2017; however, this project has been completed seven months earlier. So this project has broken not only Chinese but world record as well. He said this while addressing the special function held at the completion of 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Plant in Sahiwal today.
The Chief Minister said that today is not an occasion of joy but a historic day as well. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, work on different projects of CPEC including energy was in progress very rapidly and therefore, Pakistan is heralding a revolution of progress and prosperity. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has played vital role in further strengthening Pak-Chinese friendship. However, some elements who overtly supported Pak-Chinese friendship have opposed it covertly. They have left no stone unturned to initiate negative propaganda about CPEC projects. Our opponents and critics claimed that these projects would not be materialized but due to the grace of Almighty Allah, this mega CPEC project is providing 1320-megawatt electricity to the national grid.
He said that Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to visit Pakistan in 2014 but unluckily sit-ins were staged then. “I am personally eyewitness that the sit-in organizers were requested upon that the President of our most trustworthy friendly country China is coming to Pakistan, so therefore, you may leave this place for some days. Political as well as military leadership tried their level best in this regard, but the sit-in organizes stick to their guns and refused to leave the place. The sit-in organizers, in fact, wanted to put the future of Pakistan at stake and the visit of Chinese President to Pakistan was postponed.”
He said that Chinese President and administrator of National Energy Administration Mr. Nur Bekri visit Pakistan to remove darkness. Chinese President, Prime Minister and other leadership have full trust over the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and they also tremendously love the people of Pakistan. China supported Pakistan at a time when the country was plunged into darkness, economy was sagging and the business was ruined. Chinese leadership handed over projects of hard earned money of their people worth 60 billion dollars to Pakistan and this nation will never forget this great benevolence.
He said that completion of Sahiwal Coal Power Project in 22 months will give benefit of billions of dollars in coming days. The 300-megawatt solar power project in Bahawalpur is providing electricity to the national grid. Similarly, a coal power plant is being set up in Port Qasim as well. China has allocated 36 billion dollars for energy related projects under the CPEC and this amount is more than the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan. If we use our foreign exchange reserves for these projects then it would have emptied. The great benefaction of China will not be forgotten by the whole nation, he added.
The Chief Minister further said that Pakistan will continue to progress whether its Panama or Benama. Pakistan will continue to move further under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The projects are being completed despite sit-ins and lockdown. Whether its sit-in or lockdown, the projects of development and prosperity of the country would be completed as the country has moved towards it destination and the 20 crore people will not let this destination gone astray. The people have failed sit-ins and lockdown in the past and will do the same now and the journey of development and prosperity of the country will be moved further. He said that past governments weakened the country with their corruption, maladministration and nepotism in energy and reconstruction projects. The cost of Rs. 80 billion worth Neelam Jhelum Project has soared to Rs. 500 billion. This project will produce 985-megawatt electricity while Rs. 180 billion worth Sahiwal Coal Power Project is producing 1320-megawatt electricity.
Similarly, Nandipur Power Project is also a worst example of plunder and corruption. He said that light has spread everywhere today under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and added that people were in search of these lights. Sahiwal Coal Power Project is also a gift to the nation. It is a journey of hard work, honesty, trust and great friendship. The friendship of Pakistan and China is unique. This friendship is based on love and affection which is devoid of any strings. China supported Pakistan in the wars of 1965 and 1971 without any compulsion and always supported the Kashmir issue at the UN. China stands with Pakistan at different international forums. China is standing before the enemy of Pakistan like a rock wall.
The elements, who alleged that China has attached strings with the CPEC, are enemy of Pakistan and do not want benefit of the country. The China has initiated CPEC with Pakistan without any compulsion and proved its friendship. The CPEC is too much pinching the enemy and a lot of enemies of this project have emerged. But the enemies must listen that Pakistan is an atomic power and the enemies cannot let us down. The people will destroy the enemy which would dare to put evil eye on Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan will achieve development and prosperity by following the principles of prosperity through hard work, trust and honesty. The Chinese leadership has realized that Pakistanis are a great nation, he added. The Chief Minister thanked Chinese leadership including President, Prime Minister, administrator of National Energy Administration Nur Bekri, NDRC, ICBC, Huaneng Group, Ruyi Group and other concerned officials for completion of 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project. The Vice Chairman of NDRC and administrator of National Energy Administration Nur Bekri, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, Chairman Huaneng Group of China Cao Peixi, Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary and notables of the area were present in large numbers.
Earlier, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif inspected different sections of 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project. He also inspected the process of supply of coal along with Chinese officials. Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, administrator National Energy Administration and Vice Chairman NDRC China Nur Bekri and high officials of Chinese Company were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated completion of 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project and inspected central control room. He met with engineers and workers and said that they have done a wonderful job adding that the names of engineers and workers of this project would always be remembered. He said that completion of 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project in a record period of 22 months is a major milestone and told that overall 1320-megawatt electricity is being included in the national grid from this project.
He said that this is the first project which has been constructed under the CPEC and is an example of hard work, trust and transparency. Administrator National Energy Administration and Vice Chairman NDRC China Nur Bekri, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, Minister of State Abid Sher Ali, Chairman China Huaneng Group Cao Peixi and other officials were also present on the occasion