The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved $288 million for financing two wind power projects in Sindh in order to overcome power shortage and promote clean energy in Pakistan, it was announced on Saturday.
Affirming OPIC’s commitment to support efforts by Pakistan, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield said that the OPIC would help diversify its energy production to include important contributions from renewable energy sources.
The OPIC credit facility would help build 50 MW Sapphire wind power plant in Gharo-Ketti Bandar wind corridor, designed to generate 133 giga watt hours of emission-free electricity annually.
Established as an agency of the US government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in US exports and supported more than 277,000 American jobs.
Wind is the single largest sector attracting record direct investment in Pakistan. The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) is expeditiously carrying out multi-directional activities to commence wind farm projects at wind potential sites. Currently, 45 wind power projects of around 3200 MW capacity are under process.
Two projects of 49.5 MW and 56 MW (106 MW) belonging to M/s FFC Energy Limited and M/s Zorlu Enerji Pakistan have already been completed at Jhampir, while another three projects - Three Gorges First Wind Farm Pakistan Ltd, Foundation Wind Energy-I Ltd and Foundation Wind Energy–II Pvt. Ltd - are under construction.
AEDB sources said that several wind projects (50MW each) with an aggregate capacity of 500MW are expected to achieve financial close during the current year in Thatta District alone. They include Dawood Power (Pvt.) Ltd, Bhambore, Gharo; Lucky Energy (Pvt) Ltd, Jhampir; Tenaga Generai Ltd, Khuttikun, Gharo; Sapphire Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd, Jhampir; Metro Wind Power Co Ltd, Jhampir; 50 MW Gul Ahmed Wind Power Ltd, Jhampir; 50 MW Master Wind Energy (Pvt) Ltd, Jhampir; Sachal Engineering Works (Pvt) Ltd, Jhampir; and Wind Eagle (Pvt) Ltd, Jhampir. Talking about the OPIC financing CEO AEDB Arif Alauddin stated that he had been trying for OPIC funding for Pakistan projects for quite some time, and was glad to see it coming now. OPIC is already funding a SSJD Energy’s 12 MW Baggass based renewable energy project in Pakistan.