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Allocation for energy sector cut to Rs9bn

LAHORE: The Punjab on Monday “rationalised” energy allocations for 2016-17 to Rs9 billion against Rs31bn last year as it was able to attract “sufficient private investment” for the sector, with a number of projects already at various phases of completion.

Out of these Rs9bn, Rs4.36bn would go to small hydro projects which the government has been executing for the last few years at Marala, Pakpattan, Chianwali and Deg Outfall.

The remaining amount would go to the Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Programme (Redsip). Last year’s major initiatives, which have started, included RLNG project (Rs15bn), establishment of coal base powers (Rs9bn) and development of hydro power projects under Redsip.

Next year, the provincial government plans to continue financing 1,200MW Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) power project in the central Punjab region (Bhikki, district Sheikhupura).

It would also start 15MW Bio Mass Power Project at Faisalabad and launch the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme. Construction of Energy Resource Centre and Solar Solution for Basic Health Units is also included in the provincial plans.

“The Punjab government is also working with leading international financial organisations to create an energy fund of $1.5bn to $2bn for development of energy infrastructure,” says a White Paper of the Punjab.

This is going to be huge step forward contributing to improve the provincial financial indicators and boost the investors’ confidence. As the Punjab government has succeeded attracting private investment in the sector and a number of projects already on track.

“All of them (projects) are scheduled on fast track completion within two to three years, adding 8,000MW to national grid, the allocation to power sector, therefore, has been rationalised to Rs9bn,” the paper concludes.