Lahore: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), was signed between Punjab government and Asian Development Bank, under public-private partnership, for promotion of cooperation in energy sector, at Model Town here today. Under the MoU, collaboration would be made in energy-related projects for alternate water, coal and other energy sources. Secretary Energy signed the MoU on behalf of the Punjab government, while the representative of Asian Development Bank signed the document on behalf of the bank.
The ceremony was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Special Assistant Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Information and Country Director of Asian Development Bank Pakistan Resident Mission. Warner Liepach and other representatives. Under the MoU, Punjab government and Asian Development Bank would identify various energy projects and, after making initial review, would extend cooperation to each other in this regard. In the first phase, Punjab government would not be liable to pay any fee, while, in the second phase, complete cooperation would be extended by Asian Development Bank, under transaction advisory service agreement, with regard to technical, financial, legal, commercial and other aspects of the project, besides preparing a financial structure of the project. In the third phase, a fund would be established, under a separate transaction advisory services agreement, and a fund manager would be selected.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of MoU, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that national economy is greatly suffering because of energy crises, and the country is faced with long hours of loadshedding due to the gap between the demand and supply of electricity. He said Punjab government is taking steps with its own resources for generation of energy, without which progress is unachievable. He said cooperation of Asian Development Bank in energy-related projects is a significant development, for which Asian Development Bank would not receive any fee for initial estimation of the project. He said there are vast opportunities of generation of power from bigasse in the province while Punjab has large reserves of coals as well from which energy can be acquired. He said electricity can also be produced from biomass. He said an agreement for a 400-megawatt project at Cholistan has been struck with a German Company AEG. He said completion of energy-related projects expeditiously is the need of the hour to make Pakistan progressive and prosperous. He said, along with energy sector, cooperation with Asian Development Bank would also be made in infrastructure development and other sectors. The Chief Minister said Punjab government is speedily working on energy projects in the province.
Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif informed the delegation of Asian Development Bank that Punjab government has launched great metro bus system to provide people inexpensive and quality transport, besides ensuring provision of best traveling facilities. He said the number of passengers on metro bus has now increased over more than one lakh 30 thousand. Talking on the occasion, Country Director Asian Development Bank, Werner Liepach said that the bank realizes the problems Pakistan is facing due to lack of energy, and Asian Development Bank would extend all possible cooperation to the Punjab government for generation of electricity. He also appreciated metro bus system and said it is a great project, which Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has completed for the convenience of the masses and he is highly impressed with metro bus project.