China stands with Pak to overcome energy crisis: envoy

  • PM Sharif hails project as a symbol of growing partnership between Islamabad, Beijing

China will extend all-out cooperation to help Pakistan overcome the ongoing energy crisis, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong said on Tuesday, minutes after the launch of Green Parliament Project under which the assembly building will be operated entirely on solar power.

Weidong, in his brief conversation with the media, said China-backed Green Parliament Project was a gift to Pakistan by the Chinese president and people and hoped that it would prove to be a milestone in overcoming Pakistan’s energy shortfall.

He noted that Pakistan’s parliament would be the first government assembly building in the world to operate solely on solar energy. He also held out assurances that China-funded projects would be completed within the stipulated timeframe.

Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, the foreign dignitary said it would bring the two countries closer to each other and help improve the living standard of their people. “The project will equally benefit all sections of Pakistani society,” reasserted the envoy.

Earlier in the day, the entire power system of parliament building was shifted to solar power with the help of an 80-MW power plant. The facility is built at an approximate cost of $55m.

Speaking at the inauguration, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailed the project as a symbol of growing partnership between Islamabad and Beijing. He also thanked China for its support in materialisation of the project and termed it a testimony of the solid friendship between the two countries.

The premier also lauded the efforts of the Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker for taking personal interest in the project, saying, “I appreciate the initiatives of the National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman for making the country’s parliament the first in the world to be run entirely on solar power.”

He said it was encouraging to note that parliament’s solar plant would not only meet its own energy requirements but the additional electricity generated would also contribute to the national grid. “Power shortage has always been a problem for Pakistan but the government is gradually trying to resolve this problem,” said Sharif.

On the occasion, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said the project was a significant addition to the government’s projects for overcoming the ongoing power crisis. He said the solar power plant would meet the building’s power needs and set a precedent for others to switch to renewable sources of energy.