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Friday, July 26, 2013

Punjab signs MoU to set up manufacturing plant of solar panels

Punjab signs MoU to set up manufacturing plant of solar panels


LAHORE: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding solar development project was signed between the Punjab government and an international consortium of five countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria and Pakistan, at the Chief Minister’s Office, here on Wednesday.

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan, Secretary Energy and senior officials of departments concerned were also present.

Secretary Energy Usman Bajwa and Chief Executive Officer and Group Chairman of Swiss Company STCS AG Rainer Kertess signed the document on behalf of the Punjab government and the international consortium. respectively. Under the agreement, the international consortium would set up a plant of assembling and manufacturing of solar panels, solar cells and batteries in Faisalabad. The consortium would also consider the project of setting up 400 solar power projects each near industrial zones in Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Lahore while a 150-megawatt power plant would be set up along the motorway from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad.

The consortium will also introduce solar pumps for agriculture sector in Punjab, street lights in big cities of the province and those installed at Ring Road will be gradually converted to solar power. The consortium will also consider introduction and implementation of zero energy building system for large buildings besides evolving a project of supply of off-grid energy to industrial zones.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif welcomed the signing of the agreement between the Punjab government and international consortium and said that measures would be taken for the early implementation of the agreement in a transparent manner. He said that the Punjab government would provide all possible facilities to the international consortium. He said that nothing could be more important than solution of energy crisis, he said, therefore the Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive programme of encouragement of foreign investors.

The croup chairman of the consortium said that his group was interested in making heavy investment in solar energy sector in Pakistan, especially Punjab and the agreement would promote investment in the province.

Earlier, representatives of the international consortium met the chief minister and gave him a briefing on cooperation in solar energy sector.