Wind power in Pakistan: wind farm in Jhimpir

For the first time, the national grid of Pakistan will receive a sizeable quantum of electricity produced through wind energy at a wind farm being established in Jhimpir, Thatta, in Gharo-Keti Bandar wind corridor in the coming months.

During a media visit on Thursday of the wind energy project of the Fauji Fertilizer Company Energy Limited (FFCEL) some 120 kilometers away from Karachi in Jhimpir, newsmen were informed that test power production from 50megawatts wind power project of FFCEL is likely to start from June 2012 so that electricity produced though windpower can be added to the national grid.

The formal commercial operations of the FFCEL’s wind energy project will commence from November 2012 and the project is expected to give a net annual electricity production of 143 gigawatt hours electricity. The initial tariff (for first one to two years of operations) of electricity produced through the Fauji Fertilizer Wind Farm project, for its procurement by the National Transmission and Dispatch Company for national grid, is Rs16.5532 per kilowatt hour as determined by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra). The tariff of 50MWs wind power project would subsequently go down to Rs4.44 per KWh in 11 to 20 year after start of commercial operations of the wind energy plant.

Project Director of FFCEL’s wind energy project, Brigadier Tariq Izaz told newsmen that initially the tariff determined for the wind energy project will be perceived as exorbitant from point of view of end power consumer but analysing the situation in the large perspective, the growth of renewable resources of energy would surely help the national economy by slashing the import bill of furnace oil and subsiding the persisting problem of circular debt in the energy sector.

The project director of the wind energy project said that encouraging tariff had been determined for other budding wind energy projects, for procuring electricity for the national grid, in the same wind corridor and it would help them to accelerate establishment of their wind farms in a business environment where their risks had been minimised.

He said the Gharo-Jhimpir-Keti Bandar wind corridor in which the FFCELís wind power project is being established carried a massive potential of energy production as feasible wind conditions are available here in consecutive nine months of the year except from a period from January to March.

According to the Alternative Energy Development Board, the Gharo-Keti Bandar wind corridor spreading 60 kilometres along the coastline of Sindh Province and more than 170kms deep towards the land alone has a potential of approximately 50,000MW.

While visiting the wind power project site, one could easily discern the advance stages of work at FFCELís wind power project that besides installation of seven wind turbines, 10 out of 28 transmission towers have been erected to connect the project with the national grid and where one could easily sense influential position of proponent of the project.

The FFCEL acquired 1,283 acres of land for the project and has invested approximately 135 million dollars on the project. The FFCEL will subsequently increase the energy production capacity through its wind power projects to 250 megawatt. Currently the company is installing 33 wind turbines on the project site.

The project director said the wind power project had achieved 60 per cent completion target. Seventeen sets of wind turbines and blades had already arrived, while remaining 16 turbines and blades are scheduled to reach Karachi in March 2012. Seven wind turbines have already been installed at the projectís site and remaining 25 towers are in different stages of manufacturing at Karachi Manufacturing Works, Bin Qasim.

Concrete pouring of 23 wind turbines have been completed and civil works are in different stages on remaining 10 foundations for installation of wind turbines.

Construction of a kilometer access road, 18 km internal roads, culverts over SSGC gas line and temporary site facilities is completed whereas construction of watch towers, substation, workshop, dormitory and crane pads is in progress at the wind projectís site. FFCEL team is monitoring site activities and tower manufacturing.

The project director, Tariq Izaz, said that if Pakistan could produce just 10 per cent of available wind energy potential of the country of 346 GW, i.e. 34 GW in next 15 to 20 years, the country will be well ahead on the path of energy security and prosperity due to utilisation of indigenous energy resource.

Pakistan must increase its energy generation capacity on fast track basis and the only quick solution is renewable energy and especially the wind power. Unfortunately, the existing power generations mostly comprised of thermal power and soaring oil prices have become a burden on economy and resulting in massive power shutdowns across the country, added the FFCEL official.