PM to open first unit at Solar Park todayPakistan
BAHAWALPUR: The first unit of 100MW, the country’s first-ever solar generation project, will be formally inaugurated at the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park (QASP) here on Tuesday (today).
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will open the solar park’s generation in a ceremony at the QASP site, about 18kms from here.
The QASP has been designed to generate a total of 1,000MW of electricity. The Punjab energy department had initially decided to establish the first unit of 100MW.
It is learnt the QASP’s first unit went into test run last month and had achieved successful results. The generated electricity was being supplied to the National Grid System.
In the first phase, at least 0.5 million solar panels have been installed in three blocks in 500 acres of the solar park land.
Earlier, the infrastructure for the park, including a boundary wall, buildings and roads were constructed while water was taken to the site from a nearby canal.
The construction work of the first phase of 100MW had been taken in hand last year.
The land in Cholistan was selected and the earthwork had been inaugurated in 2013 by the Punjab chief minister. The total land of over 10,000 acres was transferred in the name of solar park by the Cholistan Development Authority (CDA) to generate a total of 1,000MW in three phases.
The second and third units of the solar park comprise 300MW and 600MW, respectively. The work on these two units had been jointly inaugurated last month in Islamabad by the Chinese president and the Pakistani prime minister.
The second phase is expected to be completed in the beginning of next year followed by work on the third phase.
Officials responsible for the security around the park said that strict measures had been taken for the security of workers, machinery, equipment at the grid station and in open fields.
Meanwhile, Regional Police Officer Ehsan Sadiq and District Police Officer Sarfraz Ahmed Falki paid surprise visits to inspect security arrangements there.
During a visit to the solar park a few days back, this correspondent found that personnel of law-enforcing agencies had been deployed in force at important intersections of the park.
A number of security observers’ posts (OPs) manned by armed personnel had also been built to have a security view from far-off distance for new entrants into the solar park’s vast area.
Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2015
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