Pakistan invites Chinese firms to invest in renewable energy sector

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday invited Chinese companies to invest in the country’s renewable energy sector, especially in solar power.

The PM expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Chinese state-owned company NORINCO that had called on him in Islamabad, according to a statement.

The delegation was led by vice-president NORINCO International Wang Xiaobing and CEO NORINCO International (Pakistan), Li Chen.

The prime minister also appreciated the company for its role in the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project, which he said is facilitating hundreds of thousands of commuters in Lahore daily.

He recalled that it was for the first time that open bidding took place in a Government to Government (G2G) project i.e. Lahore Orange Line. He stated that negotiations were held with the lowest bidder, leading to a saving of $600 million, adding that it was a milestone in the development history of Pakistan.

The NORINCO delegation showed keen interest in investing in the wide spectrum of renewable energy projects in Pakistan, especially the wind corridor in Thatta for where a 100 MW wind power project has been proposed.

As per Pakistan’s latest power generation mix, non-renewable energy sources account for over 70% of power generation in the month of May.

The remaining is made up of renewable sources of energy, with hydroelectric power leading the way with 24% of the power generation, whereas wind accounts for 5%, while solar power contributed only 1% to country’s energy needs, with a generation of only 90kWh last month.

NORINCO also highlighted fibre optic along railway lines, copper and iron ore mining at proven reserves, and infrastructure development in big cities as key investment opportunities.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan is open to investment and will facilitate the process. He stated that deepening China-Pakistan economic cooperation is critical to Pakistan’s socio-economic uplift, while highlighting the significance of CPEC as transformational project for the mutual benefit and development of both the friendly countries.

Meanwhile, Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Director of the Central Commission on Foreign Affairs of the CPC Yang Jiechi arrived on a two-day visit to Pakistan on Wednesday.