Wind energy in Pakistan: Jhimpir wind farm

Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar on Friday acknowledged that shortage of energy in the county "is one of the major impediments to economic growth". Talking to media after the ground breaking ceremony of 50 MW Three Gorges Wind Farm, being established in Jhimpir, Thatha district.

He said that the government "is making its best efforts" to minimise load shedding in the country, which, according to the figures is around 10-15 hours in the far-flung areas of the country. The government recently revised downward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target for the current fiscal year, from 4.2 percent to 3.6 percent, because industry is facing dearth of energy ie electricity and gas, two major inputs for the bulk of industry.

Addressing the ground breaking ceremony, Qamar said that the government is facilitating investors interested in wind power generation through an attractive policy. ‘Three Gorges Wind Farm Company Pakistan’ is owned by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC).

On shore contractor of the project is China International Water and Electric Corp, and off shore contractor is China Huashui Hydropower Development Corporation.

The minister said that President Zardari’s main focus is China, and he has made numerous visits to China, the fruits of which can be witnessed in the form of investment in the energy sector.

‘Three Gorges’ company is not only investing in wind power projects but also in a number of hydel power projects, including Kohala hydropower project.

Earlier, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Liu Jian, said that China is taking keen interest in Pakistan’s energy sector for which different companies are engaged in different projects.

He maintained that the establishment of 50 MW Wind Farm at Jhimpir would further strengthen Pak-China relations.

"It is one of the commitments made by the Chinese government with Pakistan," he added.

A detailed introduction of the project was given by the Company’s CEO, who said that his corporation’s objective is to implement projects overseas.

"This project will create a new opportunity for the corporation to widen Pakistan’s wind market," he said.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AEDB, Arif Alauuddin, said that the company has assured him of speedy implementation of the project.

‘Three Gorges’ is also working on two other projects of 50 MW each, and seeking additional land for setting up 450 MW as well as is committed to AEDB to set up 1000 MW in Sindh in the next 3-4 years.

In 2008, there was not a single approved EPC contractor on turnkey basis available to Pakistan.

However, today, more than seven top wind turbines manufacturers, including Vestas (Denmark), Nordex(Germany), Siemens(Germany), General Electric (USA), Hyundai(Korea,), Goldwind (China, Sunec(China) etc are offering turbines, fully backed by EPC contract and operation and maintenance for extended period.