LARKANA: President Asif Zardari Sunday urged foreign investors to take advantage of the business opportunities in Pakistan and establish energy and infrastructure projects in partnership with provincial governments.He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the first gas fired rental power plant of 51 Mega Watts at Naudero, district Larkana. President Zardari said power producers were of benefit to Pakistan, as they kept the country out of darkness.
President Zardari thanked the Walter Power International, which has set up the power plant for making investment in the interior of Sindh saying it will create thousands of jobs for people. The company has a history of setting up power projects in Pakistan, he added.
Zardari said the government is pursuing the policy of setting up projects through public-private-partnership while ensuring rights of provinces.
The provinces would have equity in the power projects by providing gas and the land, which would help in creating projects worth billions of dollars.
He asked the Sindh government to establish a special incentive zones for new industries. The president stressed on people to put their trust in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government so that it can build a better future for Pakistan.
“I remember challenges of the days when the government of Benazir Bhutto was dismissed and the power projects were also derailed,” he recalled.
He said the investors came at the invitation of first Benazir Bhutto government and in her second stint they set up the projects like Hubco with the generation capacity of 1,500 MW. He said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had the foresight to see the rising electricity demand due to growth in population.
The Benazir Bhutto government managed to sign Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) of 40,000 MW of which 4,500 MW was to be produced from coal, he noted.
He said PPP has a vision for tomorrow and it understands needs of the future. It fulfilled its promise by making operational, the first power plant of Sindh in Larkana. He reminded that in the past PPP was criticized for bringing independent power producers to Pakistan.
The Naudero power plant has been assured 12mmcfd gas for five year through PEPCO's Generation Company and an SSGC gas transmission pipeline has been linked to it besides laying of 132 KV transmission line to connect the power to national grid.
It will provide power to 2,500 tubewells which are designed to irrigate 75,000 acres of land that produces 1.2 million tons of wheat and rice besides ensuring stable power to over 1,000 average sized villages in the area.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Minister for Water & Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Interior Minister A. Rehman Malik, Minister for Privatization Syed Naveed Qamar, Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Nisar Ali Shaikh (Shaikh Brothery), Provincial Ministers, Central Information Secretary of PPP Fouzia Wahab, MNAs, MPAs, PPP leaders and high officials were present on the occasion. -APP