Pak­istan’s re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor at­tracts $ 3 bil­lion in one year

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The Re­new­able En­ergy (RE) sec­tor has at­tracted for­eign in­vest­ment of over $ 3 bil­lion dur­ing the last one year, clearly in­di­cat­ing in­vest­ment po­ten­tial in this par­tic­u­lar sec­tor and the out­come of ini­tia­tives taken so far to ex­ploit such re­sources for bet­ter­ment of the coun­try.

"Due to the po­ten­tial, ro­bust pol­icy frame­work, lu­cra­tive tar­iff struc­tures and bank­able se­cu­rity doc­u­ments, Pak­istan has be­come a choicer in­vest­ment desti­na­tion for pri­vate in­vestors," Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) Al­ter­na­tive En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Board (AEDB) Am­jad Ali Awan told APP here. He said, the govern­ment was tak­ing prag­matic steps to har­ness the avail­able re­new­able en­ergy po­ten­tial, di­ver­sify its en­ergy mix and en­sure en­ergy se­cu­rity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try. He ob­served that ow­ing to the pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment of RE tech­nol­ogy in the coun­try, a record in­vest­ment has been wit­nessed in just one year, re­veal­ing the in­ter­est of in­vestors in this sec­tor. The CEO said that de­tailed re­source as­sess­ment of wind, so­lar and biomass was car­ried out in the coun­try through ESMAP's (World Bank) as­sis­tance.

Ground in­stal­la­tions for mea­sur­ing of so­lar ir­ra­di­a­tion have also been made in sev­eral parts of the coun­try, he added. Am­jad said that the AEDB has is­sued over 25 Let­ter of In­ter­est (LoI) to var­i­ous so­lar projects hav­ing 663 MW ac­cu­mu­la­tive ca­pac­ity so far adding that all th­ese projects would at­tain com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions date (COD) by 2018.

The Pun­jab govern­ment has also is­sued LOI for 600 MW projects so far while the fi­nanc­ing for 300 MW so­lar power pro­ject has al­ready been done. The CEO said Quaid-i-Azam so­lar park was al­ready op­er­a­tional and has been sup­ply­ing 100 MW elec­tric­ity to the na­tional grid sys­tem while 300 MW more would be added to the sys­tem by 2016.

The park would gen­er­ate to­tal 1000 MW by 2017, he said. He said AEDB was also pur­su­ing 35 so­lar PV power projects of cu­mu­la­tive ca­pac­ity of ap­prox­i­mately 1111.44 MW On-Grid So­lar PV power plants. Three so­lar power projects of cu­mu­la­tive ca­pac­ity of "300 MW" have signed EPA and IA and were un­der con­struc­tion, he said. Th­ese projects in­cluded M/s Ap­polo So­lar Pak­istan Ltd (100 MW), M/s Crest En­ergy Pak­istan Ltd (100 MW) and M/s Best Green En­ergy Pak­istan Ltd (100 MW) lo­cated all at Quaid-e-Azam So­lar Park, Ba­hawalpur.

Am­jad Awan said that some six IPPs, with a cu­mu­la­tive ca­pac­ity of " 47.84 MW," have also ob­tained Let­ter of Sup­port (LOS) from AEDB and were ex­pected to achieve Fi­nan­cial Clos­ing by De­cem­ber 31. The projects in­cluded M/s Ac­cess Elec­tric Pvt (10 MW), Pind Dadan Khan, M/s Bukhsh So­lar Pvt (10 MW) Ba­hawalpur, M/s San­jwal So­lar Power (5.04 MW) San­jwal, M/s Safe So­lar Power Pvt (10.28 MW) Ba­hawalpur, M/s Ac­cess So­lar Pvt (11.52 MW), Pind Dadan Khan and M/s Blue Star Hy­del Pvt (1 MW) Pind Dadan Khan. To a ques­tion, he said that some 250 MW so­lar projects were also in­cluded in China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC).

Qual­ity stan­dards have been de­vel­oped for re­strict­ing im­port of sub-stan­dard so­lar equip­ment (PV pan­els and an­cil­lary equip­ment), he said and added that the Eco­nomic Co­or­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee has also ap­proved stan­dard for im­port of so­lar PV pan­els. "In next two-three months, im­ple­men­ta­tion on the stan­dard would be en­forced," he said.

To a ques­tion, Am­jad Awan said presently, there was no lab­o­ra­tory for test­ing the stan­dard of so­lar PV pan­els. How­ever, PC 1 had been pre­pared in col­lab­o­ra­tion with min­istry of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy for set­ting up three test­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries in Is­lam­abad, Karachi and La­hore, he said.

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