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April 10, 2019

New UK-funded renewable energy plant starts operation in Pakistan

National

 
April 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The UK-funded Zephyr Power wind-farm became operational Tuesday, and will provide 50MW of power to thousands of people and businesses in Pakistan.

Zephyr Power is backed by CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution wholly owned by the UK government. This landmark was celebrated Tuesday at an inauguration ceremony in Gharo, Sindh, says a press release.

Zephyr Power has been developed by local sponsors Zia and Kumayl Khaleeli in close corporation with CDC and includes the Dossa family and Gul Ahmed Group as investors. The plant will help boost the country's power supply; energy from the wind generation will provide an additional source of clean, renewable energy to help improve the power supply in the region.

The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew, said: “The ties between the UK and Pakistan are strong, so I am delighted to see the UK play a part in meeting Pakistan’s renewable energy needs, supporting jobs and growth. It is the UK government’s ambition to see more British investment across Pakistan’s economy to support the country in meeting its potential and to further increase both our countries’ future long-term prosperity. This investment in the Zephyr wind-farm is a good example of that.”

CDC’s Pakistan Country Director, Habib Yousuf, said: “Zephyr Power will bring clean energy to thousands of people in Pakistan. Backed by the UK government, we are delighted to have supported its development and launch today. We will continue to work closely with the Zephyr team in this new operational phase. We recently opened an office in Pakistan. We look forward to finding more opportunities to partner with ambitious businesses and supporting their growth here in Pakistan.”

CDC Investment Director and Zephyr Board member Michael Dreyer added: “It is a pleasure seeing CDC’s involvement, which began over five years ago, come to fruition with this landmark renewable greenfield project. From the idea of the wind pioneers, the Khaleelis to an international financing package – this is an investment that will have a material impact in Pakistan.”

Backed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), CDC has invested in Africa and Asia for 70 years. By investing for impact, CDC aims to help countries in Africa and South Asia to build thriving communities that provide sustainable opportunities for all citizens.

It has supported numerous developers in implementing power projects across these markets. CDC was one of the initial investors in the Hub Power project in Pakistan and has also recently committed $17m debt to the Gulpur hydropower project.

The UK is Pakistan’s largest export market in Europe; and has overtaken China to become the second largest globally after the US. The UK is Pakistan’s second largest source of foreign direct investment. In 2017 bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan stood at £2.9 billion in goods and services. It is the UK government’s shared ambition to see more British companies doing business in, and with, Pakistan given the strong historical, people-to-people links and potential of Pakistan’s economy.

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