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A steel mill for Punjab

Provin­cial minist­er for mines and minera­ls says iron ore deposi­ts need to be tapped­



LAHORE: Work on the feasibility study for a new steel mill in Punjab will start soon, said Punjab Minister for Mines and Minerals Chaudhry Sher Ali, adding that the industrial unit will help the province efficiently utilise its iron ore reserves and provide employment opportunities.

Speaking at the 4th Industrial Minerals, Steel, Down Stream Engineering Conference and Exhibition, the provincial minister said that coal power projects were progressing in a smooth manner.

It is expected that coal-fired plants would add 3,000 megawatts (MW) to the national grid. “Sadly, in the last 50 years, the hidden minerals in Punjab have gone unutilised that may have earned billions of rupees,” said Ali. “Had the past governments utilised these minerals, the country would have been on its way to success.”

Ali also took out time to discuss his pro-privatisation stance on the Pakistan Steel Mills, an ailing industrial unit in Sindh that has caused huge losses to the country. “After the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills, the industry will run more efficiently.”

Meanwhile, Engineering Development Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tariq Ejaz Chaudhary said that the government had working hard on the engineering sector’s development, but the private sector needed to add value-added products to its armoury.

He urged producers to utilise latest technology to secure the market and focus on bio-fuel to meet energy requirements.

Chaudhry said Pakistan’s sugar mills could generate thousands of megawatts of energy by using bagasse and other by-products.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.

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