LAHORE – A high-level delegation, led by Dr Brigitta Blaha, Ambassador of Austria, called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday.

Different matters of mutual interest including promotion of bilateral relations and extending cooperation in different sectors were discussed during the meeting.

The delegation showed keen interest in extending cooperation in hydropower projects, especially small hydro projects and electricity production from solid waste.

The ambassador invited the CM to visit Austria and praised his wonderful steps for woman empowerment and the progress made in this field so far.

Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan and Austria have good friendly relations and there was a need to further extend trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Austria.

He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, work was continuing on thousands of megawatts energy projects. Energy projects were being completed throughout the country including Punjab, he added.

Shehbaz 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.

He 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 CM ordered for constituting a committee to promote cooperation in this regard. 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.

Provincial Minister for Planning & Development Malik Nadeem Kamran, Secretary Energy and other officials were also present on the occasion. – APP