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March 7, 2019

Siddiqsons plans $110mln investment in solar power generation

Business

March 7, 2019

KARACHI: Siddiqsons Limited has planned to set up two solar power plants of 50 megawatts each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a cumulative investment of $110 million, an industry official told this scribe.

Two special purpose vehicles, namely Siddiqsons Nowshera Solar Limited and Siddiqsons Kohat Solar Limited, have been formed and they have applied for generation licences for the solar power plants with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

With an expected life of 25 years, both the projects are expected to achieve commercial operations date in the first quarter of 2020.

Both the projects intend to sell the generated electricity to the Central Power Purchasing Agency.

Siddiqsons Group is going green with alternative renewable energy power projects including hydro and solar with a cumulative capacity of more than 600 megawatts to fulfill its commitment to environment sustainability.

The group also has an alliance with foreign renowned companies for developing solar power and hydro power projects across the country.

The projects are strategically located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Kashmir.

The non-availability of natural resources has widened the gap between power demand and supply, which has resulted in excessive and frequent load shedding.

The shortfall in supply is a major cause for stunned growth in the industrial sector in the country.

Large scale manufacturing sector that accounts for 80 percent of industrial sector, scaled down 1.53 percent in the first half of the current fiscal year of 2018/19.

The demand for electricity has continued to increase by outpacing growth rate of the economy.

The shortfall at times crosses 6,000MW. The industry, having self- generation on gas, has a suspended supply of gas for 2-3 days a week during winters.

Pakistan’s major electricity sources at present are thermal and hydro generation, meeting approximately 97 percent of the country’s annual electricity demand.

The primary thermal generation fuels employed are furnace oil and gas.

Demand for them already outstrips supply by a considerable amount.

Oil imports are already a significant burden on the national exchequer and the increasing import bill continues to exert pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

Oil imports constitute almost a quarter of $60 billion imports a year.

Therefore, securing alternative fuels and the technical management should be strengthened to solve the problems and solar and wind power could play a very important role in overcoming reemerging energy crisis in the country.

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