400 MW from wind power by end of this year in Gharo and Jhimpir (Pakistan)

At least 400 megawatts (MW) from wind farm projects in Gharo and Jhimpir will be added to the national grid by the end of current year 2012, which is being observed as the year for wind energy.

This was stated by the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Arif Alauddin while talking to media at a reception organised by Energy Update and National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) on Friday. NFEH President M Naeem Qureshi, SITE Association’s Utility Services Chairman Dr Qazi Kamal and others were present on the occasion.

Alauddin said that investment commitments of $500 million have been made for energy projects. Four wind turbines projects were at advanced stage, while 12 others have completed their financial close. They included Zorlu of Turkey, CWE of China, Three Gorges, Fauji Fertilizer, Fauji Foundation, Arif Habib and Lucky Cement, he added.

He was of the opinion that 1,200 MW will be added to the national grid every year from 2013. Replying to a question, Alauddin said that Zorlu will sign power purchase agreement with National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) this week.

He pointed out that AEDB has a large number of applications from potential investors for wind turbines to generate 1,600 MW electricity. They have also submitted the surety amount of $300,000. To a question about circular debt, Alauddin said this is not an issue with wind farm projects. AEDB has arranged a counter guarantee worth $200 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the private sector’s wind power projects.

For example, ADB has provided $32 million counter guarantee to Fauji Foundation on its equity for $130 million project. ADB had offered $500 million loan to AEDB for the development of alternate energy projects in Pakistan, but we requested ADB to convert this loan into a counter guarantee for alternative energy projects from private sector. They have agreed to our proposal and allocated $200 million as the initial step, he added.

He said that currently, seven projects were under consideration for this counter guarantee. Alauddin said that financing is no more an issue for wind turbines after this facility. Most of the wind farm projects are being financed by Habib Bank Ltd, he pointed out.

He, however, said that acquisition of land is still an issue, which AEDB is trying to resolve with the help of the Sindh government. Responding to a question about the tariff for wind energy, he said upfront tariff is fixed at 14.66 cents per kilowatt.