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ISLAMABAD: The US government’s development finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), has approved a credit facility of $95 million for a 50MW wind-power plant in Gharo-Ketti Bandar wind corridor designed to generate 133 gigawatt hours of emission-free electricity annually.

Affirming OPIC’S commitment to support efforts by Pakistan, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield said on Friday that OPIC would help diversify its energy production to include important contributions from renewable energy sources.

Using General Electric Wind turbines, the Sapphire Wind Power plant supports a mutual US-Pakistan goal to diversify Pakistan’s power generation beyond reliance on high-priced fuel oil by tapping Pakistan’s vast renewable energy potential.

A recent study funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the US Agency for International Development estimates that Pakistan possesses 132,000MW of potential installed wind capacity – virtually equal to world’s entire installed wind capacity for 2010.

The wind-power projects would enable both countries to take advantage of their massive renewable energy potential to help meet unmet demand for electricity, Ms Littlefield said.

“We are thrilled to partner with innovative US companies to bring these highly-developmental projects to realisation.

“The provision of clean and reliable electricity is an essential building block of any economy,” she added.

Established in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide.

To date, OPIC has supported more than $200bn of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75bn in US exports and supported more than 277,000 American jobs.

The wind is the single largest sector attracting record direct investment in Pakistan.

The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) is expeditiously carrying out multi-directional activities to commence wind farm projects at wind potential sites.

Private sector has been triggered to invest in wind power.

Currently 45 wind power projects of around 3200MW capacity are are under process.

Two projects of 49.5MW and 56MW (106MW) belonging to FFC Energy Limited and Zorlu Enerji Pakistan have already been completed at Jhampir while another three projects, namely Three Gorges First Wind Farm Pakistan Ltd, Foundation Wind Energy-I Ltd and Foundation Wind Energy-II Pvt Ltd, are under construction.

Nine wind projects of 50MW each with an aggregate capacity of 500MW are expected to achieve financial close during the current year in Thatta district alone, according to the AEDB.

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Comments (10) Closed

Haider Mar 24, 2013 08:40am
This is awesome. Glad to hear something positive from Pakistan.
lone Mar 24, 2013 08:42am
Its really god news about renewable energy, but again, did some one take account the cost associated with transmission line, interconnectivity with the grid, cost per unit with & without transmission line , capacity at the grid. I am 100% sure that these costs are not covered and even no plan for these infrastructure was considered, which eventually lead to never ending extension of letter of support to the vendor
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 24, 2013 11:41am
AEDB needs to explain what it has achieved in the past about 10 years of its creation. They are going too slow. Why is WAPDA and KESC not willing to take initiatives? They should package something attractive for overseas Pakistanis too, if the IRR is 20% at least, with guaranteed off take. Rather than wait for more private sector investments, WAPDA and KESC can lead and then when the construction has started with all agreements signed, investors could be asked to buy the shares at a reasonable premium - a win win for all.
Akram Mar 24, 2013 12:45pm
there is a mistake in the article, the wind project is surely not going to generate 133 gigawatt (132, 000 Mega watts). the potential is 133, but this project is not going to produce that much.
Salim mastan Mar 24, 2013 06:58pm
1.The way forward is to manufacture 100 Kw turbines locally , with the present engineering capabilities Pakistan can do it, then install 1000 MW , this will boost local industry and provide cheap electricity 2. Grow biodiesel Jatropha, 3. Put up solar farms also Salim mastan
Riaz Mar 24, 2013 08:08pm
Please do not read the lines, read between the lines. The article is conveniently silent about the terms and conditions attached to the loan. $95 million loan, conditional upon buying wind turbines three times the price compared with Chinese turbines of the same specification and capacity is certainly not in the interest of Pakistan. Such loans are primarily designed to help US industry selling goods to third world mugs like Pakistan. The actual money, not a single cent will leave the US, the money will be paid straight to General Electric. General electric will throw a few crumbs to Pakistani officials involved in the rip off.
khalil Mar 24, 2013 10:38pm
This is good but Piakistan needs SOLAR energy. Dont forget we have plenty of sun mashallah.
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 25, 2013 07:58am
Akram sahib, many countries have plenty of sun. And because the sunlight is free, the major drawback is the amount of capital investment upfront. Like many sun-rich countries, Pakistan is also short of capital, for which reason it needs capital rationing.
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 25, 2013 09:30am
The article being silent about the terms and conditions attached to the loan, does not mean one should assume that the conditions are adverse for Pakistan. There should be a limit to being a cynic.
Riaz Mar 26, 2013 03:12am
I agree with you. This has been strategy of research companies to exaggerate the capacities and opportunities in developing world so that they make poor countries get hefty loan with very high interest rates which they will not be able to pay in many years.