Pakistan: PM Shehbaz green-lights 10,000MW solar project to cut imported fuel use


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday gave the go-ahead for the execution of 10,000 megawatts solar energy project to reduce the import bill of costly diesel and furnace oil.

The prime minister made the decision during a meeting called to discuss measures for providing “major relief to the masses”, the state-run wire service reported.

The prime minister stressed upon the authorities that the electricity should be generated through solar instead of imported fuel.

The meeting was informed that the solar plan would help save billions of dollars.

In the first phase, the solar energy would be supplied to the government buildings, tube wells operating on electricity and diesel and domestic consumers with low consumption.

The prime minister directed the relevant authorities to ensure the early installation of solar plants to provide relief to the people before the next summer season.

He asked the authorities concerned to immediately start the execution of the project.

He also called for holding a conference of all stakeholders by next week before the bidding process.

In a tweet later in the day, the PM said that a major chunk of electricity was produced from “imported fuel whose prices have gone up in recent months”.

“Our National Solar Energy Initiative is aimed at substituting costly energy with cheap solar power, which will provide massive relief to people and save precious foreign exchange,” he added.

Last month, the premier had said the government would soon launch 6,000MW to 7,000MW solar energy projects to cut dependence on imported fuel.

Talking to a delegation of the Pakistan America Business Forum in Islamabad, PM Shehbaz had said the government was committed to ensuring favourable conditions for foreign investors with the aim to strengthen the national