File photo shows windmills at Jhimpir, Thatta district in Sindh, before the projects completion. — Photo by Farooq Jan

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the country’s first windmill power project in Thatta on Monday, which will add about 50 megawatts to Pakistan’s energy-starved electricity transmission system.

The wind power project in Jhimpir, installed by the Fauji Fertilizer Company Energy Ltd (FFCEL) and financed by local banks, was completed within a year with 33 German-made turbines with a capacity of 1.5MW each.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Zardari said that in addition to the renewable energy project supplying 50 MW to the national grid, an industrial zone was also being set up in Thatta district for which the government will provide all required facilities.

The president added that the industrial zone in Thatta will not only provide job opportunities, but will also help further develop the country’s economy.

Located about 144 kilometres from the commercial capital Karachi, the 50 MW project in Jhimpir will be operational from next month, according to Zorlu Energy Pakistan, the local subsidiary of a Turkish company which is also executing the project.

In total, more than 106 megawatts of electricity will be added to the national power transmission system in Jan 2013 when the FFCEL and the ADB-funded wind energy projects become operational.

The project is a breath of fresh air for Pakistan, which suffers from a debilitating energy crisis and has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world, estimated at 9.2 per cent of GDP. Experts view the power crisis as one of the main constraints for the country’s economic growth.

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Comments (55)

Secular Pakistan
December 24, 2012 4:04 pm
If the bureaucratic and political hurdles are removed, there are plenty of local and international companies who will jump in and put up solar, wind and geo thermal power plants all over Pakistan. The energy shortage in Pakistan is a self created problem. The country does not have an energy shortage. It has human intelligence shortage, evident in our leaders.
December 24, 2012 3:44 pm
Oh. It is a news. President finally is coming out of his chamber and foreign visits (Only Allah knows what is President doing on foreign visits).
Secular Pakistan
December 24, 2012 3:53 pm
A tiny step in the right direction. It takes a combination of resources to produce energy these days.
December 26, 2012 6:12 pm
Wind farms do very little in ratio to investment. They are a major source of bird kill and subject to high maintenance, They are not a source of great power production anywhere in the world. These are feel good projects at best. California has perhaps the largest wind farms in the world and have been around for 35 years, no mention of their great contribution to its power grid, which consumes 56,000 mega watt of power a day, and higher in the summer. To get to that number perhaps the whole state would have to become a wind farm, and that would be suject to the wind, which at best is erratic. Until we harness nuclear fusion, we will use fossil fuels and hydro power to run our lives.
December 24, 2012 3:41 pm
Anything is acceptable. Yes, Agree we should be looking in to cheaper ways of creating power.
Jawab Do
December 24, 2012 1:15 pm
I do not understand why the government is giving away as gift to foreign countries the hard earned money of people of Pakistan. We have a reliable power generation capability through the water fueled motor as discovered by Agha Waqar Ahmad. The technology is backed by our esteemed father of nuclear weapons Abdul Qadeer Khan. So why are we investing in outdated technologies when a simple water motor can solve our problems.
Khan Usafzai
December 25, 2012 5:42 pm
Come on WInd mill is not such a bad option , look the brighter side of the picture as well its by far environmental friendly as well ... We have many of them across every state of america and in Europe as well its of the favorite Regular energy producing method ....Also in Austrlaia, Pacific adjoined areas of asia , India is working on it ...
Tom Moseley
December 24, 2012 2:48 pm
Is this an anti-drone measure?
December 24, 2012 3:25 pm
Sindh and Balochistan have so much potential to for wind & solar energy, its heartening to see progress. Any idea regarding the cost of this project?
December 24, 2012 3:04 pm
The project will be operational next month; what was president Zardari inaugurating today? Could he not wait for taking credit for this project until it was operational? He does not desrve any credit for this any way!
Khan Usafzai
December 25, 2012 5:44 pm
EVen in South america Brazil they are improving it and working on it....
vijay singh ivory coast
December 24, 2012 1:08 pm
pakistan has lot of potential in wind mill energy.see in india they are trying at big levels.congrats to president zardari for this git to people of pakistan.allah bless his efforts.
Jamshed Khan
December 24, 2012 1:54 pm
Please have some sense. We don't need windmills, we need solar panels, as we have more sun than wind. Windmill panels are considerably more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared with solar panels. Please don't waste poor nations wealth on temporary projects with limited benefits.
December 24, 2012 4:31 pm
Congratulations Pakistan. This is a solution for your power issue. Hope Govt will proceed on these lines especially in the wind swept plains of the Sindh. And Solar too is possible in deserts and Punjab.
December 24, 2012 5:19 pm
No, this is an anti american measure since we bought the turbines from Germany and got Turkey to Install it for us.
December 24, 2012 5:22 pm
Wind mills are considerably expensive. Where did you get that from. The Cost to power a house is around $20,000 if you install solar panels and it lasts you around 30 years. Wind mills are considerably cheaper and more efficient.
December 24, 2012 5:39 pm
That is hardly funny. Drones have killed a more civilians in Pakistan than the number of coalition force deaths combined. Only those who have lost a loved one can understand.
December 24, 2012 5:41 pm
Why 12 dislikes ? I am an engineer, I endorse what he has said. Solar Power is easier to benefit from in a country like Pakistan, where it does not rain a lot for most of the year.
Fazal Karim
December 24, 2012 5:46 pm
Pakistanis are very poor in maitenance and safety. Soon the windmill towers will be rusted and damaged by protesters. Do you remember what happened to Railway engines and othjer railway property after assasination of Benazir Bhutto. Very few people were caught red handed they too were released by Sindh Chief Minister.
December 24, 2012 5:56 pm
I bet you, these windmills have no connections for any transmission/production.
December 24, 2012 6:04 pm
Minimum i.5 US Dollars, my friend. What is the return. This is rich country make work projects for the party operators. Pakistan needs a conventional or a nuclear power plants.
December 24, 2012 6:07 pm
This is a good topic for a tea shop conversation. Please research the cost ond benefit facts.
December 24, 2012 6:20 pm
Thank you Dawn for reporting some desperately needed good news.
December 24, 2012 6:25 pm
In Australia government had a initiative of installing solar panels on every house(who agree to join the contract, the excess solar energy generation when not being used in house is pumped into national grid so meter is two way - electricity being used and being generated so bill is generated - consumed) where government paid for most of installation and subsidized it and then it started a carbon tax both which diverted and appreciate everyone to invest in solar,wind power and other renewable sources.I personally think initiative where government subsidizes solar panels being sold in Pakistan would be a good start.
December 24, 2012 6:34 pm
you are either super sarcastic or downright vacuous............
December 24, 2012 6:46 pm
why not use Chinese turbines? they are the cheapest and more efficient.. i think we need a lot of these all over our mountains, they also looks great from far on land..
Ali Akbar
December 24, 2012 7:11 pm
You are extremely funny. 21 people didn't get it.
Mohammed Baluch
December 24, 2012 7:34 pm
Congratulations to the President for the windmill project - and for setting up an industrial zone in the Thatta-Jhimpir area. Windmill and solar energy generation is the way of the future - so much cleaner and safer than nuclear powered energy. More jobs for people of Sind & Baluchistan means a stronger and more prosperous Pakistan!
December 24, 2012 7:35 pm
Negative mentality has no limits, please be positive. We are much better than many countries, only we are very critical about ourselves
December 24, 2012 8:03 pm
PPP zindabad
December 24, 2012 8:14 pm
Well, I am sorry to say Zardari has nothing to do with this gift. The only gift he has given to the people of Pakistan is corruption. Yes, Pakistan has high potential for wind energy especially in Sindh and Balochistan.
saad ali
December 24, 2012 8:43 pm
its a great news ... i wish more of the local enterprenuers find interest in this much needed sector
December 24, 2012 9:33 pm
because solar plants are very costly , the operational cost is negligible but the starting cost are very very high and compare to that wind mill power are more economical.
December 24, 2012 9:59 pm
Hurray! more energy to steal, more power theft and we are not gonna do anything about that now, are we? That's a real challenge.
December 24, 2012 10:22 pm
Congrats Pakistan. Renewable, clean and economical energy is the need of the hour.Only thing that I noticed odd, is getting the expensive power equipments from Germany by the Pakistani firm, by paying hard-earned and scarce foreign exchange. Pakistani firm could have got these projects executed at a fraction of the cost, if they had imported the equipments from Suzlon of India, which is the World's fifth largest Wind Power firm, employing over 13000 employees and having installed thousands of megawatts of equipments in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Brazil. The Pakistani firm could have got world-class product at a fraction of the cost, that too from just across the border.
December 24, 2012 10:31 pm
India and Pakistan entrepreneurs should join hand , to generate low cost wind and solar energy for areas of Sind and Gujrat region. This is a great step and its encouraging to see only few negative comments and more positive attitude set a side politics
Khan Usafzai
December 24, 2012 11:31 pm
Good job , But still long way to go ... We need many such projects to boost the energy in Pakistan .
December 25, 2012 12:10 am
solar panels are more expensive then windmill.,why pakistan is buying windmills from germany when india is making far cheaper windmills(one fourth of german price) & equilvalent in technology.
Muhammad K
December 25, 2012 1:01 am
One of this wind mill can produce maximum of 0.8 to 1.0 MW electricity. If there are ten wind mills then 10 MW without any fuel, but maintenance cost is reasonably high in Thatta like area in Pakistan. Where as a small coal thermal power plant can generate 100 to 200 MW. Sindh has plenty of coal. This is just show off and nothing, it is wastage of money and silly idea at this stage. I am not against of wind mill. Wind mill installation is a very very expensive project.
Iqbal khan
December 25, 2012 3:06 am
Soon each vadera will take one and put swing for his children - best use I can think of considering the committment and mentality of our people.
December 25, 2012 2:22 pm
well done ffc and descon.
Mahesh Kumar
December 25, 2012 5:53 pm
good work.. see how much performance it will give us... Normally anual output of wind mill is 35% average.. if this is sucesful then we need more and more wind plant.. we also need to do somethng of thar coal by creating underground Gasification system... Underground Gasification Process Cost is Lower and has lower CO2 emissioon as compare to other fossil fuel plants.. and we all need to grow more and more plants Finaly Best of Luck for Wind It is good Oppurtunity for all of us
Mahesh Kumar
December 25, 2012 5:59 pm
wind mill has good potential in Jhampir and Jamshoro... we also need wind mills + Solar system because these are renewable sources.. Advantages of this is No Fuel Cost+ Minimum CO2 Emission negligble... There is no doubt coal is also present .. we also need to utilise it by underground coal gasification ... or any other method which they find suitable and there must be job on Open source... Here in Pakistan fewer are jobs then student Graduating day by day
Mahesh Kumar
December 26, 2012 12:51 pm
chiness is little cheaper and other hand india is also manufacturing wind turbine in cheaper rate then germany and india turbine is more suitable for our location so y not our country buy wind turbine from india in cheap rate??
Amir Bangash
December 26, 2012 4:19 pm
Good news and congratulations to all Pakistanis. Many thanks to those who worked on the project and made it successful. The country direly needs some more similar efforts.
December 26, 2012 12:48 am
Keep up the good work. Any step in the right direction needs to be praised. Im disheartened to read all the negative comments here, people are too cynical. We need to install more alternative energy sources in addition to hydro and coal fired productions. Pakistan's rise will require considerable investment in the energy sector. Lets refrain from all the negativism and focus on the good and more importantly, encourage the Good!!
December 26, 2012 12:57 am
ahh.. no thanks.. we dont want it from there.. so we can pay them money and they can buy more arms and squeeze our military budget some more.. nice logic!
December 26, 2012 1:00 am
Shouldnt be one track minded. This is definately a step in the right direction. We need to tackle the energy crisis from different angles. While Nuclear, coal and hydro are going to be the main sources, we need to also invest in Solar and Wind mill sources as well.
December 26, 2012 1:01 am
so they can take our money and buy more arms, which in turn will cause our military budget to increase. I dont think so.. your logic is flawed!
December 26, 2012 1:02 am
I agree, people are too cynacial and pessimistic. We need to think big, diversify and be optimistic. This is definately a step in the right direction!
December 26, 2012 4:07 am
Congratulations to the president???? Are you out of your senses? The government had absolutely nothing to do with the project except of sending the president to cut a ribbon! the whole project belongs to Fauji Fertilizer Company Energy Limited, a corporate sector company, headed by MD FFC (Lt. General Naeem Lodhi) who was sacked by this same government on charges of improper conduct!
Naresh Sharma
December 26, 2012 5:08 am
OMG!!! Pakistan didn't have Wind mill projects till now???? Anyways congrats Pakistan
Nazir K Ali
December 26, 2012 7:51 am
Windmill technology is easy to obtain and install. Frankly, what is the difference between Chinese technology and German? What are reasons for the 'go slow' on coal exploration? Does it really take one whole year to set up a windmill based electricity generation system??? Salams
December 26, 2012 10:44 am
Dear Indusonian, the transmission lines have been connected and electricity is being supplied via NTDC as of Monday.
December 26, 2012 10:46 am
Jamshed, the cost of solar panels is more high and their deterioration rate is higher than windmills. I dont know where you have managed to get your facts, you need re-check them.
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