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Ahsan Iqbal invites investment in solar power


BEIJING: Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has urged Chinese companies to invest in solar power generation and establish solar PV manufacturing plants in Pakistan to help achieve better efficiency and ensure wider distribution of cheaper electricity.

At a meeting with China Apollo Holding Group Chairman Chen Diming and China Ocean Engineering Construction Company senior representative Xu Hao in Beijing, Iqbal underscored the importance of energy projects, which enabled Pakistan to overcome shortages.

The minister appreciated the Chinese companies’ longstanding partnership with Pakistan and their interest in its solar power sector.

He spoke about the prime minister’s solar energy initiative where foreign investors were offered special incentives. He invited the Chinese companies to take benefit of the new policy and asked them to set up their regional engineering design centres in Pakistan as well as employ the local talented and skilled professionals.

Iqbal assured the Chinese companies of the government’s full support and facilitation.

Meanwhile, a Chinese delegation from Huzhou city visited the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) Secretariat in Lahore.

It discussed the scope of investment in various sectors like energy, machinery manufacturing, construction and cultural exchanges.

The delegation was headed by Gan Meilin, Chairman, Xiandeng, Hi-Tech Electric Co. Gan stressed that in Pakistan about 3,000 megawatts of electricity could be generated using agricultural residue and municipal solid waste.

“Pakistan generates about 15 million tonnes of crop residue annually, which can be used as feedstock to generate 120MW of electricity,” he said. He saw a huge potential for renewable energy resources in Pakistan, which would save the foreign currency reserves consumed on high-cost energy.

The delegation was of the view that the construction style in Pakistan was conventional and inefficient. By contrast, the Chinese employ highly energy-efficient construction technology and style that can save up to 10 times of cost in Pakistan.

PCJCCI President Moazzam Ghurki pointed out that low-priced energy was being produced in China through the incineration of waste material and that model could prove to be a solution to Pakistan’s energy crisis and environmental pollution.

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