Remarks of Consul General Zachary V. Harkenrider at the Inauguration of the Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station

group panel

  • Honorable Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif
  • Additional Chief Secretary Energy Punjab Mhd. Jehanzeb Khan
  • Secretary Water & Power Muhammad Younus Dagha
  • CEO Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station Rukhsar Qureshi
  • Senior Managers,
  • Colleagues
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Assalam-o-Alaikum and good morning,

Today we are commemorating an important milestone along Pakistan’s road back to energy self-sufficiency—the rehabilitation of the Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Plant, and the restoration of some 500 megawatts of energy to Pakistan’s grid.  That’s enough energy to benefit 4.5 million people.

This project is one example of the ways in which the United States and your government have worked together closely to meet this country’s energy needs.   To that end, we have committed more than $1 billion to energy sector investments and reforms in cooperation with the Government of Pakistan and the Government of Punjab province.

We are honored to be joined today by Chief Minister Sharif; a true leader in the energy sector.  As I can attest from my experience here in Punjab, he is working tirelessly to bring new energy on line, and to attract investment to Punjab’s power sector.  Those efforts are bearing fruit.  Our investments, whether public or private, are more likely to succeed because of the enabling environment created by the Government of Punjab and the priority that this government has attached to the energy sector.

Those private American investments include state-of-the-art General Electric turbines and equipment for three new combined-cycle LNG power plants here in Punjab—at Bhikki in Sheikhurpura District; at Haveli Bahadur Shah in Jhang; and, at Balloki in Kasur.

Meanwhile, U.S. government investments are helping build and renovate dams and hydropower plants such as Gomal Zam, Satpara, Tarbela, and Mangla, as well as thermal power plants at Muzaffargarh, Guddu, and Jamshoro.

Our projects are also helping Pakistan modernize the power distribution network so that generated power can reach consumers without interruption.  We are improving Pakistan’s transmission system, reducing line losses, and training your workers and engineers so that these projects will be sustainable for years and years to come.

Here in Muzaffargarh, the United States Agency for International Development has rehabilitated this plant; restoring its former capacity, and making it a powerhouse for your future economic growth.  USAID provided more than $15 million to this project to replace major equipment, install a computerized maintenance control system and to train the employees on its use and maintenance.

Our efforts have added over 1,700 megawatts to the national grid, enough to power the homes and businesses of 19 million people and increase the annual revenue of Pakistani distribution companies by over $300 million.

While my government and yours can be justly proud of what we have accomplished at Muzaffargarh and throughout Pakistan, we are not going to rest.  We are committed to continuing this cooperation.  In April, the United States and Pakistan announced the Clean Energy Initiative, in which U.S. investment will help Pakistan add another 3,000 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to the grid over the next three years.

Again, the United States is prepared to work with Pakistan and Punjab in a mutually beneficial partnership; to support the government’s efforts to grow both the energy sector, and a healthy business climate, that will draw still more private investment into that sector.  We could not hope for a stronger or more committed partner in that effort.  I commend the Government of Pakistan and Chief Minister Sharif for their commitment and leadership on energy issues.  I would also like to congratulate the management of the Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station and the Northern Power Generation Company for their hard work in seeing this rehabilitation project through to such a successful outcome.

Thank you and Khuda Hafiz!