Wind Power - the next en­ergy fron­tier for Pak­istan

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Pak­istan is for­tu­nate to have the nat­u­ral re­source of high wind speeds near ma­jor pop­u­la­tion cen­tres. Near Islamabad, the wind speed is any­where from 6.2 to 7.4 me­ters per sec­ond (be­tween 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Near Karachi, the range is be­tween 6.2 and 6.9 me­ters per sec­ond (be­tween 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour). In Balochis­tan and Sindh, suf­fi­cient wind ex­ists to power ev­ery coastal vil­lage. There also ex­ists a cor­ri­dor be­tween Gharo and Keti Ban­dar that alone could pro­duce be­tween 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of Fi­nance Corp., $ 36.8 mil­lion from the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank, $ 20 mil­lion from the Eco Trade & De­vel­op­ment Bank and $ 16.2 mil­lion from Habib Bank Ltd. for the project. Other in­vestors like Fauji Fer­til­izer Com­pany and China In­ter­na­tional Water & Elec­tric Cor­po­ra­tion have also keenly fol­lowed the progress of the project and have ini­ti­ated other projects in this lu­cra­tive new and clean en­ergy gen­er­a­tion sec­tor.

FFCEL, a sub­sidiary of Fauji Fer­til­izer Com­pany, is also in the process of installing electricity.

In re­cent years, the gov­ern­ment has in­sti­tuted sev­eral projects to demon­strate that wind could be a vi­able ad­di­tion to the coun­try’s en­ergy mix. In Mir­purSakro, 85 mi­cro tur­bines have been in­stalled to power 356 homes. In KundMalir, 40 tur­bines have been in­stalled, which power 111 homes. The Al­ter­na­tive En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Board (AEDB) has also ac­quired 18,000 acres for build­ing wind farms.

The first wind power gen­er­a­tion project in Pak­istan has re­cently been rec­og­nized by the Project Fi­nance Mag­a­zine. The project had been set up by the Turk­ish- based Zorlu Group. In recog­ni­tion of its project in Pak­istan; Zorlu En­ergy Pak­istan has re­ceived the “Mid­dle East Re­new­able Deal of the Year” for 2011 from Project Fi­nance Mag­a­zine. The award in­di­cates the ease and se­cu­rity of in­vest­ing in the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor in Pak­istan.

The Al­ter­na­tive En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Board ( AEDB) had played a cru­cial role in help­ing Zorlu En­ergy ini­ti­ate the project. Zorlu En­ergy was the first com­pany to move ahead with guar­an­tees and as­sis­tance from AEDB in set­ting up the first wind tur­bine in Jhim­pir, Sindh. Zorlu En­ergy is in­vest­ing $ 136 mil­lion in this pi­o­neer­ing wind farm project.

The Istanbul- based com­pany bor­rowed $ 38.1 mil­lion from the World Bank’s In­ter­na­tional 33 wind tur­bines with a power gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity of 1.5 MW each. The to­tal in­vest­ment in the FFCEL project is $ 135 mil­lion, for which the com­pany has ac­quired 1,283 acres of land.

Ac­cord­ing to Tariq Izaz, project di­rec­tor of the FFC En­ergy Limited ( FFCEL), if Pak­istan pro­duced just 10 per cent of the avail­able wind en­ergy po­ten­tial, that is 34GW, in the next 15- 20 years, it would be well on the path to en­ergy se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity.

Arif Alaud­din, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Al­ter­na­tive En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Board, said that 2012 would see the fi­nan­cial close of $ 1 bil­lion in wind power projects in Pak­istan. “There’s been more pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment in wind power projects than any other sec­tor.” Wind power ca­pac­ity in the coun­try was ex­pected to reach 500 MW by 2012 and 1,500 MW by 2015.

In­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony of Jhim­pir Wind Power Project.

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