Wind Power - the next energy frontier for Pakistan
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.