KARACHI, Dec 24: With shortage of electricity generated by hydel and thermal plants increasing by the day, Sindh has taken the lead in generating energy from renewable sources with President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurating a 50MW windmill project in Jhimpir near Thatta on Monday.
The plant has been set up by the Fauji Fertiliser Company (FFC).
Welcoming the pioneering effort, the president expressed the hope that the capacity of Gharo-Keti Bundar wind corridor to produce 50,000MW electricity would be fully utilised.
Referring to the demand for one-window operation made by the Managing Director of FFC, Lt-Gen (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi, he asked the Sindh government to extend all facilities to attract more investment in the wind energy sector.
Addressing provincial Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, the president said: “let us establish an industrial zone in the area where electricity would be a little costly but it will be for 24 hours without any interruption.” He said the Sindh government would provide land, water and other facilities to investors.
The development of the sector would be of help in strengthening the economy and meeting the needs of growing population in five to 15 years by creating job opportunities and contributing to economic wellbeing of the people.
Gen Lodhi described the opening ceremony as a memorable event and said Pakistan had stepped into the era of renewable energy with a sizeable investment.
He said the FFC planned to establish a 10MW solar energy project in the area.
Project Director Brig (retd) Tariq Aezaz said the FFC had set up the 50MW wind farm at a cost of $134 million with 80 per cent investment by local banks and 20 per cent by the company.
Alternative Energy Board Chief Executive Officer Arif Allaudin said four more projects would follow the FFC green power farm.
“One launched by Zorlu Energy of Turkey will become operational next month while Three Gorges of China is working on another. Besides, two other farms of 100MW will soon add 200MW electricity to the national grid.”
Moreover, he said, a dozen more projects were expected to meet their financial close by the end of next year, bringing over $2 billion investment in the wind energy sector in Thatta district alone.
The FFC wind project, he said, had globally promoted Pakistan as an attractive investment destination and helped in attracting investors from Malaysia, Norway, Turkey, USA, Czech Republic and China.