Wind energy in Pakistan: FFC invests in 50 MW wind farm

FFC Energy Limited (FFCEL), a subsidiary of Fauji Fertilizer Company Ltd is in final stage of completing wind turbines project of 50 megawatt in Jhampir, District Thatta Sindh. The wind farm will provide 50 megawatt of electricity to National Grid on commencement of its commercial operation by the end of this year, said an official of company.

As first phase of FFC’s investment in country’s Wind Power Projects, this project would produce 50MW but FFC’s subsequent projects will increase the energy production capacity to total of 250 megawatt in second phase. In the current wind power project, FFCEL is installing 33 wind turbines in 1,283 acres of land in the Jhampir area, he explained.

This project is being completed at a cost of $135 million exclusively by FFC Energy, a subsidiary of FFCL, the country’s largest manufacturer of Fertilizer. FFC started work on this project in March 2007 after the allocation of land by AEDB in Jhampir, District Thatta, Sindh. NEPRA issued Generation license and determined tariff for FFCEL project in August 2010 followed by issuance of Letter of Support to FFCEL by AEDB in December 2010. EPA, IA and Site sub-lease deed were also signed in March 2011.

AEDB issued Letters of Intent to many investors for the development of wind power projects in the country out of which, FFC Energy Limited (FFCEL) is the first company to achieve Financial Close on June 28, 2011. FFCEL has engaged leading German Turbine manufacturer Nordex as EPC and O&M contractor for this project.

An FFCEL official said that the decision to enter into wind energy project was taken primarily on the basis of acute power crisis in the country, energy security and utilization of untapped tremendous wind resource in the country. With the commissioning of this project, FFC will carry on its mission in fulfilling its vision of becoming leader in the renewable energy sector as it is in the fertilizer sector of the country. Serious commitment from one of Pakistan’s leading companies towards the renewable energy dream of the country will set the tone for other corporate entities of the country and it would also attract foreign investors, he added.

According to Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) sources, ABEB identified the Sindh wind corridor and defined the bench mark wind speeds in this region with the help of Risoe National Laboratory of Denmark. AEDB, NTDC and NEPRA, along with Grid Code Review Panel members, spent one full year to thoroughly review the existing National Grid Code and prepared and approved an addendum for the wind power projects in the country.

After this addendum, Pakistan becomes one of the very few countries of the world having specific provisions in the grid code for wind power projects.

According to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) USA, Pakistan has a potential of 346 GW of electricity that can be obtained only from wind. One GW is equivalent of 1000 mw). If only 10% of that i.e. 34 GW is achieved in next 15 – 20 years; Pakistan will be well ahead on the path of energy security and prosperity due to utilization of indigenous energy resource.

Globally, almost 83,000 MW new wind energy capacity was added globally during last 2 years with 44 per cent of it by China. Wind power right now is delivering around 3% of the world’s electricity and it is expected to be able to meet 9% of the world’s electricity demands by 2020.

It may be noted that Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) along with Government of Sindh has planned a number of wind power projects in the Thatta district of Sindh. Many investors are pursuing their projects in the region, which are at different stages of development.