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November 1, 2019

German firm seeks licence for 50MW solar plant

November 1, 2019

KARACHI: A Germany-based developer has applied for a generation licence to set up 50 megawatts of solar power plant in Balochistan with an estimated investment of $56.15 million, The News learnt on Thursday.

IB VOGT GmbH, a Germany-based integrated solar developer, planned entry into Pakistan’s renewable energy market with a solar power plant to be set up in Gwadar, though its special purpose vehicle P&G Energy Pvt Ltd. P&G Energy approached the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for a generation licence.

According to a document, Balochistan Power Development Board issued a letter of intent to the sponsors of the project. After issuance of the letter of intent, the sponsors of the project incorporated a special purpose vehicle P&G Energy Pvt Ltd. IB VOGT creates business in more than 55 countries, operating internationally from its headquarters in Berlin, Germany and offices in UK, USA, Australia, Panama, Poland, Spain, India and South East Asia, as well as several joint ventures across Africa.

The global outlook report produced by PV industry body SolarPower Europe expected Pakistan to have 5,000 MW of solar generation capacity installed by 2022, up from around 1,000 MW at present.

Pakistan is a developing economy with a rising demand for electricity. The long standing gap between demand and supply of electrical power has resulted in excessive and frequent load shedding, resulting in determinant and loss to the economy and socioeconomic development in the country.

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 are furnace oil and gas. While both fuels are produced domestically, demand for them 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 further pressure on the foreign exchange reserves.

Therefore, securing alternative fuels and the technical management should be strengthened to solve these problems and solar power, a cleaner source of energy, can play very important role in overcoming the growing energy crisis.

Official documents showed that Nepra admitted eight generation licence applications of Solis Energy Solutions for a cumulative of 27.5 MW solar power generation facilities at various cantonment boards across Pakistan with a cumulative investment of Rs2.47 billion.

Solis’s is a Karachi based company with the core focus to leverage unlimited renewable potential and provides reliable solutions and dependable customer support which can help drive down the cost of energy through a pragmatic and feasible solar powered system.

Even with the projected surplus in power generation capacity by 2020, there will still be sufficient economic feasibility for small and medium-sized (50-100 MW) renewable energy based power projects in the Pakistan, especially those located near remote and isolated load centres and extremities of the grid network or based on bilateral bulk contracts or for augmenting peak supplies on the grid.

The viability of such projects will further be enhanced by the continued decline in technology prices and the emphasis by the government on indigenous energy resources that also help the country meet its environmental objectives and reduce carbon emissions.