Wind power in Pakistan

Zorlu Enerji’s Murat Sungar and Karm Buksh Qureshi, chief executive of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) have signed an energy purchase agreement for six megawatts of electricity generated at the company facility in Jhimpir.

Pakistan is building wind power plants Gharo, Keti Bandar and Bin Qasim in Sindh. The government of Pakistan decided to develop wind energy sources due to problems supplying energy to the southern coastal regions of Sindh and Balochistan, and the project was undertaken with assistance from the government of China.

Another area with potential is Swat which shows good wind conditions and whose traditional leader Swat (princely state) Miangul Adnan Aurangzeb works with investors interested in wind power investment there once local political conditions improve.

Zorlu Enerji reported to had completed five wind turbines in Jhimpir, each capable of producing 1.2 megawatts of electricity. Though initially 6 MW of electricity will be produced by the company, the project will be expanded to 50MW in the next few years.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) with the financial collaboration of Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST), has completed its project entitled “Wind Power Potential Survey of Coastal Areas of Pakistan (Phase-I)” in June 2005. Phase-II consisting of Wind Mapping of Northern Areas of Pakistan is own going since July 2005.

The demand for energy has increased in tremendous proportions in the last few decades in Pakistan; the same is expected to increase further in the coming years. The primary sources of energy available in Pakistan are oil, natural gas, hydro and nuclear Power.

At present oil accounts for approximately 45% of total commercial energy supply. The share of natural gas is 34% while that of hydro power remains roughly at 15%. The increase in cost of fossil fuel and the various environmental problems of large scale power generation have lead to increased appreciation of the potential of electricity generation from non-conventional sources.

Wind power provides opportunity to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel and at the same time expands the power supply capacity to remote locations where grid expansion is not practical.

Recently conducted survey of Wind Power Potential along coastal areas of the country by Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), indicates that a potential exists for harvesting wind energy using currently available technologies, especially along Sindh coast.

Gharo, one of the sites in Sindh where the wind data have been recorded and studied by PMD, has been selected. Using the measured wind data the annual gross energy production by an 18 MW wind farm consisting of thirty – 600 kW turbines will be 45 million kWh. Taking into account the wind turbine availability, net losses and wake effects in the wind farm the net annual energy production is estimated to 31 million kWh per year corresponding to a capacity factor of 28%.

The total investment will be Rs: 850 million and pay back period will be 7-8 years. The capital cost of wind power projects ranges Rs 4 to 5 crore per MW. This gives a levelised cost of wind energy generation in the range of Rs: 2.50 to 3.00 per kWh, taking into consideration the fiscal benefits extended by the government.