The first urban railway system Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) in Lahore will go solarised to save the soaring more than Rs1.9 billion annual electricity bills being consumed on the entire operationalisation of the mega transit project.
Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMAT) is operating Orange Line Metro Train since it was handed over to the authority by the Chinese contractor CR-NORINCO, a joint venture between China State Railway Group (CR) and China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) in 2020.
In an interview, General Manager (operation) of PMAT, Ozair Shah said that electrifying Orange Line Train with a solar system is inevitable as the per unit cost of electricity varies between Rs18 to Rs21 which is not viable to run this mega public transport project in Lahore for a longer time.
He added that many conceptual plans are on the cards to materialize the solar system for Metro Train, weighing up their merits and demerits.
“One of the plans is to build up a solar plant with the capacity of 50 megawatts or 70 megawatts which will activate a mechanism of input to output through WeLink to power up Orange Line Train instead of using traditional electricity apparatus,” he said.
After the operationalisation of the Orange Line Metro Train, its total ridership has exceeded 20 million. It has achieved advanced operating international standards with 90,000 trips, covering a total distance of 12 million kilometres, with trip efficiency at 99.9 per cent and a punctuality rate of 99.9 per cent.
Orange Line Metro Railway Project has 26 stations and tracks over 27 kilometres long.
In addition, the travel efficiency of the citizens was greatly improved, and the journey of the entire route was reduced from 2.5 hours to only 45 minutes.
This Mega public transport is also playing its role in reducing the use of cars within the city which is resulting in the decline in greenhouse gas emissions, improving the environment, and promoting the green and sustainable development of the city.
Orange Line Metro is driven by all electric energy to achieve zero pollution and zero emission. It is estimated that the annual fuel emission of gases will be reduced by 30,000 tons.
Orange Line Metro Train is a project under CPEC. The agreement for this project was signed in April 2015, marking its great significance for both China and Pakistan.