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July 9, 2015

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Norwegian firm to set up 150MW solar plants in Pakistan

KARACHI: Solar panel maker Nizam Energy said it would partner with Norwegian developer Scatec Solar ASA (SSO) to build a solar power project in Pakistan with total capacity of 150 megawatts.
The project, comprising three plants generating 50 MW each, is scheduled to complete in a year.
“The financing of the model Build-Own-Operate (BOO) is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, with construction starting in the first quarter of 2016,” Nizam Energy said in a statement on Wednesday. “The photovoltaic plants involve an initial investment of $300 million.”
It added that an additional 150 megawatt plant is planned to be developed in a second stage, bringing the total investment to nearly $600 million.
The statement said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Oslo-headquartered Scatec Solar ASA (SSO) and Usman Ahmad, CEO of Karachi-based Nizam Energy (Pvt) Ltd signed the agreement on behalf of their companies. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were also present at the occasion.
Scatec Solar will also be responsible for the financing, turnkey construction, operation and maintenance of the projects, thus demonstrating its long-term commitment to the smooth functioning and efficiency of projects undertaken.
Nizam Energy will be the local co-developer, co-investor and a key partner during construction and operation phase.
Pakistan’s endemic energy crisis blamed on years of mismanagement is crippling the economy and making millions of lives a daily misery. Electricity shortfall has exceeded 7,000 MW, which is about one-third of peak demand during extreme periods.
Experts say if the energy deficit is addressed, the country could increase its GDP by as much as two percent annually through additional production, exports and employment.
The existing energy mix of the country is heavily skewed towards the thermal power plants, mainly operating on imported fuel.
Authorities are of the view that for

sustainable development all indigenous resources of power generation must be developed on a priority basis in the public and private sector, including coal, hydel, wind and solar.
The statement said the solar projects aim to stimulate investment from global and local investors in Pakistan. They will provide more than 1,000 jobs to people in the region during the construction phase.
“As in all other countries where it operates, Scatec Solar will put special emphasis on transferring technical expertise to the local community,” it added.
Pakistan’s Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) will purchase the electricity generated by the joint venture for a duration of 25 years and will receive 50 percent of the revenues from carbon credits generated by the project.
“From the 150 megawatts solar plants, an estimated 290 Gigawatt hour (GWh) of electricity per year will be added to the grid, which will go up to about 580 GWh when the second stage is completed,” the statement said.

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