Turkey to help develop Power projects

LAHORE: Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) hosted a 10 member delegation from Turkey which arrived in Lahore to assist Pakistan develop new energy projects.

The delegation, which comprises experts from three prominent Turkish government organizations, namely the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) and the Turkish Electricity Generation Co. Inc. met with PBIT high ups and representatives of Departments of Mines and Energy.

Welcoming the delegation, Director General PBIT, Moazzam Husain mentioned that given the understanding between the respective political leadership on both sides, it was important that this initiative be taken to fruition. Reciprocating this sentiment, Program Coordinator TIKA Elif Turkislamoglu noted that the Turkish side was also keen to develop successful outcomes. In the following discussion, a raft of opportunities for development in the energy sector was reviewed with the focus being on utilization of three indigenous and available energy resources coal, hydroelectric and wind power. The Turkish side offered full support in helping the Punjab government develop power generation projects using these resources.

Several mining issues were also brought to light whereby coal quality, safety and precaution and ash disposal were discussed with possible solutions being worked out as well. In addition, issues in water management under the current irrigation system and canal network such as siltation and gateway management were also included so as to address these issues in a more thorough manner. The Turkish delegation also shared the best practices within their energy sector and PBIT will analyze those practices to make recommendations to the government of Punjab.

As part of the itinerary, PBIT arranged field visits for the delegation, to coal mines, hydro power sites and potential wind corridors to fully assess the resources. It is expected that in the first stage the Turkish experts will help prepare feasibility studies for three projects including a local coal power station, a number of small hydroelectric sites and a wind based power project.

It is worth mentioning that this collaboration between the two historically bound states was initiated in a meeting in December 2010 between the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Both the leaders, recognizing the prevailing energy shortage in Pakistan had agreed to jointly work to address the problem. Subsequently, PBIT and TIKA, have been coordinating this effort in recent weeks.

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