LAHORE, Pakistan: A high-level delegation led by the Austrian Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Brigitta Blaha met the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore on Saturday and discussed different matters of mutual interest including promotion of bilateral relations and extending cooperation in different sectors.
During the meeting, the Austrian delegation showed keen interest in extending cooperation in hydropower projects, especially small hydro projects and electricity production from solid waste.
The Austrian ambassador invited the Chief Minister to visit Austria and praised his wonderful steps for woman empowerment and the progress made in this field so far.
Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan and Austria have good friendly relations; there is a need to further extend trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Austria.
The Chief Minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, work was continuing on thousands of megawatts energy projects. He said that energy projects were being completed throughout the country including Punjab.
Shahbaz Sharif said that factories were being set up to produce electricity from coal, gas, solar and other sources in Punjab. He said that the first turbine of Bhikki Gas Power Plant near Sheikhupura would start generating electricity from the next month. He said that projects were being completed in a transparent manner by the Pakistan Muslim League-N government.
The Punjab Chief Minister said that there was tremendous potential of small hydropower projects in Punjab. Investment and cooperation in these small hydropower projects from Austria would be welcomed while Punjab would like to benefit from the expertise of Austria for generation of electricity through waste.
The Chief Minister ordered for constituting a committee to promote cooperation in this regard. He said that this committee would finalise recommendations with regard to small hydropower projects and the use of waste for producing electricity.
The Austrian ambassador extended sympathies over the recent incidents of terrorism and condoled with the heirs of those died in these incidents. She said that Austria has expertise in hydropower sector. Cooperation would be extended to the Punjab government in small hydropower projects and waste-to-energy projects, she added.
The Punjab Minister for Planning & Development Malik Nadeem Kamran, Secretary Energy and other officials were also present on the occasion.