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December 14, 2016

Investors seek licences to set up 200MW solar plants


December 14, 2016

KARACHI: At least four investors applied with the power regulator for licences to set up 200-megawatt solar electricity generational plants in Sindh, an official said on Tuesday.    The projects are to invite an estimated $310 million in investment. 

Agha Wasif Abbas, provincial energy secretary said renewable energy is one of the major areas where Sindh Energy Department is investing substantial human and financial resources. “It is a step towards new paradigm – green energy,” Abbas said.

Oursons Pakistan Limited, Helios Power Pvt Ltd, Meridian Energy Pvt Ltd and HNDS Energy Pvt Ltd – all local investors – are in the process of developing solar power generation facilities of 50MW each in different districts of the province.

Abbas said the provincial department has introduced various policy and technical measures, including support framework, incentives and one-window facilitation. “We are also attracting manufacturers from North America, Europe and China,” he added.

The official said based on the success of these projects this program will be extended to other areas. The provincial government has allotted 18,251 acres of land to 33 firms to set up alternative energy projects, envisaging 2,040MW in power generation.

Out of these proposed projects, 20 wind and solar projects will be set up in Jhimpir of Thatta district, seven in Jamshoro district and the rest in Sukkur and Benazirabad districts. Some 18 are wind power projects, while the rest of 15 will produce solar energy.

Abbas said the provincial government is providing a level-playing field to local and international investors. “Witnessing the confidence shown by the businesses, we are very confident that Sindh would be the largest renewable energy producer of the country in a very near future,” he added.

The province receives an average of about 19 mega joules per square meter of solar energy throughout the year, which is the highest solar radiation in the country.  Such an energy potential means electricity generation through mega plants – using solar photovoltaic and thermal technologies – for on-grid communities as well as power production from standalone or community-based facilities, utilising solar photovoltaic technology.

Sindh is also blessed with a wind corridor – one of the rich renewable resources in the region – having average wind speeds of 10 m/s and is available for almost 12 months. The corridor is 60 kilometre wide from Gharo to Ketibandar and more than 180 kilometre long spreading over Thatta, Badin, Jamshoro, Hyderabad and Tharparkar. This corridor has an exploitable potential of more than 60,000MW of electric power generation.


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