Lahore: A memorandum of understanding was signed between Punjab government and German company AEG for cooperation in solar energy sector under which solar energy projects of at least 50 to 100 megawatt will be set up in Punjab in 2013 and of at least 300 megawatt in 2014. Secretary Energy Jehanzeb Khan signed the document on behalf of Punjab government and the representatives of AEG Karsten Weltzien on behalf of the German company. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Edward Wagner of IRGS, Advisor Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Secretary Planning & Development, Chief Coordinator of Chief Minister in Germany Shahid Riaz Gondal and other concerned authorities were present on the occasion.
Talking to media representatives at the signing ceremony, the Chief Minister said that the agreement between Punjab government and the renowned German company AEG for cooperation in solar energy sector is a welcome step. He said that Germany has made remarkable progress in solar energy sector and the 125-year old German company AEG has expertise in solar technology from which Punjab government wants to benefit. He said that the German company has generated 30 thousand megawatt power in Germany which has comparatively lesser sunlight and is almost double of the total power generated in Pakistan. He said that the agreement signed with the German company will be implemented expeditiously and solar energy projects to be executed with the collaboration between Punjab government and the German company will be completed speedily. He said that the agreement has been signed as a result of his recent visit to Germany which is unparallel with regard to its standard of power generation projects. He said that Pakistan has high grade coal as well as vast potential of generation of hydel power. He expressed the hope that more power generation companies of Germany will come to Pakistan and invest in energy sector. He said that Punjab government is working with Turkey, Germany and China in energy sector. He said that there is a vast scope of setting up solar energy projects in Cholistan. He said that the solar energy projects are durable and completed speedily due to which precious foreign exchange can be saved. He said that earlier solar energy projects were costly but now there has been a substantial decrease in their cost. He said that solar energy projects of 50 to 100 megawatt will be set up in Cholistan while solar energy projects of 20 megawatt each will be established in industrial estates which will benefit industrial sector. Appreciating the services of Chief Coordinator to Chief Minister in Germany Shahid Riaz Gondal, the Chief Minister said that he is a patriotic Pakistani and a great ambassador of the country in Germany. He said that Shahid Riaz Gondal arranged his meetings with the German authorities during his visit to Germany and the efforts made by him for promoting bilateral cooperation between Germany and Pakistan should have been made by Pakistani ambassador.
Replying to questions of media-men, Shahbaz Sharif said that the country is plunged in darkness while its economy has been ruined by the loot and plunder and wrong policies of Zar Baba & 40 Thieves who will be held accountable by the people in the forthcoming general elections. He said that federal government created hurdles in the energy projects of Punjab government, however it was not deterred and surmounted all difficulties and is working on power generation projects expeditiously and its efforts will soon bear fruit. The Chief Minister said that a successful road show was held in Turkey regarding energy projects of Punjab government on October 17 in which a number of Turkish companies took part. Replying to a question about metro bus project, the Chief Minister said that work is in progress speedily on the splendid and public-welfare oriented project of metro bus service which will cost 30 billion rupees. He said that the opponents of Punjab government have no concern with the welfare projects of the masses therefore they are telling a lie about the cost of this biggest public transport project in the history of the country. He said that the public transport system is the backbone of a country’s economy and metro bus project is an important step in this direction.
Earlier, a 2-member German delegation met the Chief Minister and discussed various matters relating to cooperation in solar energy sector. Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan is facing serious shortage of 6000 megawatt electricity and there is a need for solid measures for coping with this challenge. He said that there are vast opportunities of investment in hydro power projects in Punjab as well as a great potential of investment in coal and solar power projects. Representative of German company AEG Karsten Weltzien informed about the activities and the energy projects of this company. Eduard Wagner of IRGS, Advisor Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Secretary Energy, Secretary Planning & Development and other concerned officials were also present on the occasion.Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif talked to the representatives of the German company, AEG in German language as well who were pleasantly surprised. The Germans appreciated the Chief Minister and expressed their pleasure over his command over their language.