Wind power in Pakistan: 1,000MW wind farm projects

An important meeting between power managers and Sindh officials was held here at the ministerial secretariat on Monday with Federal Minister of Water and Power Naveed Qamar in the chair. Sindh Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Motiwala, Sindh BoI Secretary Naheed Durani, AEDB CEO Arif Allaudin and senior officials of the Sindh government and AEDB attended the meeting.

Well-placed sources in the Ministry of Water and Power informed this scribe that the Sindh government gave assurance to allocate land on priority bases to install wind power turbines for generating electricity through alternative resources, adding that AEDB officials during their presentation claimed the completion of more than 1,000 MW wind power projects till 2013.

Qamar had said on January 4, while presiding over the 22nd meeting of the board of directors of AEDB, that the government has taken in principle a decision to add 1,500 MW from wind generation by 2013, however just within a passage of three months and eighteen days, today (Monday) AEDB came with new statistics of 1,000 MW till end of next year.

Sources further maintained that negotiations between AEDB and Sindh government are going on since the last couple of months, however after a long delay, the Sindh government is revising land utilisation policy in order to facilitate the investors and a draft would be sent to the Ministry of Water and Power within a couple of days.

The land would be provided to investors within 15 days after incorporating input from the ministry in land utilisation policy, the minister was informed. It was further told that land has been already allotted to three investors for setting up wind power projects, while some others have applied to explore the wind potential in the coastal area.

The upfront tariff would be given only to those investors who would fulfil their commitment to produce electricity by 2013.The government is encouraging investors in the alternative energy development projects.

Qamar directed Allaudin to finalise issues relating to land utilisation policy and submit to him shortly.

To increase power generation through alternate source, the AEDB has initiated some wind power generation projects worth $1.6 billion in Sindh province, which would add 550 MW power till 2013, sources added.

AEDB, through its facilitation, offered Wind Risk to all wind turbines projects in Sindh. In this regard 10 wind farm projects are at an advanced stage of development and implementation. Construction work on three 50 MW projects (over $400 million) has started in Jhampir area and eight more are expected to achieve financial closure by June 2012. These projects worth $1.6 billion are expected to generate 550 MW power by 2013.

The sources claimed that apart from the above projects AEDB has facilitated large pipeline projects, which are expected to come online during the year 2012. The AEDB has worked with National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) too and the feed in tariff has been announced for wind power projects. Under this fast track policy another 1,000 MW projects are expected to come online by 2013.

The board further claimed that the AEDB has negotiated and arranged the ‘Counter Guarantee’ programme with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has accelerated foreign investment in wind sector. Already Asian Development Bank, International Finance Cooperation (IFC), CDB and the Industrial Development Bank (IDB) have taken equity interest in the wind projects in Pakistan.

It was decided in the meeting that allotment of land would be cancelled for those who have not completed formalities despite getting Letter of Interests (LoIs) from AEDB and Sindh BoI, adding that land would be allotted to the investors as per the capacity of the project. Qamar said that government has planned to produce 1,000 MW cheaper power from wind energy and an incentive-based tariff has been announced along with other incentives.