A memorandum of understanding was signed between Punjab government and German company AEG for cooperation in solar energy sector under which solar energy projects of at least 50MW to 100MW will be set up in Punjab in 2013 and of at least 300MW in 2014. Secretary Energy Jehanzeb Khan signed the document on behalf of Punjab government and the representatives of AEG Karsten Weltzien on behalf of the German company.
According to an official handout, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Edward Wagner of IRGS, Advisor Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Secretary Planning & Development, Chief Coordinator of Chief Minister in Germany Shahid Riaz Gondal and other concerned authorities were present on the occasion. Talking to media representatives at the signing ceremony, the Chief Minister said that the agreement between Punjab government and the renowned German company AEG for cooperation in solar energy sector is a welcome step. He said that Germany has made remarkable progress in solar energy sector and the 125-year old German company AEG has expertise in solar technology from which Punjab government wants to benefit.
He said that the German company has generated 30000MW power in Germany which has comparatively lesser sunlight and is almost double of the total power generated in Pakistan. He said that the agreement signed with the German company will be implemented expeditiously and solar energy projects to be executed with the collaboration between Punjab government and the German company will be completed speedily.
He said that the agreement has been signed as a result of his recent visit to Germany which is unparallel with regard to its standard of power generation projects. He said that Pakistan has high grade coal as well as vast potential of generation of hydel power. He expressed the hope that more power generation companies of Germany will come to Pakistan and invest in energy sector. He said that Punjab government is working with Turkey, Germany and China in energy sector. He said that there is a vast scope of setting up solar energy projects in Cholistan. He said that the solar energy projects are durable and completed speedily due to which precious foreign exchange can be saved. He said that earlier solar energy projects were costly but now there has been a substantial decrease in their cost. He said that solar energy projects of 50 to 100 megawatt will be set up in Cholistan while solar energy projects of 20 megawatt each will be established in industrial estates which will benefit industrial sector.
Appreciating the services of Chief Coordinator to Chief Minister in Germany Shahid Riaz Gondal, the Chief Minister said that he is a patriotic Pakistani and a great ambassador of the country in Germany. He said that Shahid Riaz Gondal arranged his meetings with the German authorities during his visit to Germany and the efforts made by him for promoting bilateral cooperation between Germany and Pakistan should have been made by Pakistani ambassador. Earlier, a 2-member German delegation met the Chief Minister and discussed various matters relating to cooperation in solar energy sector. Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan is facing serious shortage of 6000 megawatt electricity and there is a need for solid measures for coping with this challenge.
He said that there are vast opportunities of investment in hydro power projects in Punjab as well as a great potential of investment in coal and solar power projects. Representative of German company AEG Karsten Weltzien informed about the activities and the energy projects of this company.