THE 60-kilometre wide and 180km long Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor has the potential to generate 50,000MW of electricity per day and has attracted both domestic and foreign investment, with no less than 30 projects under implementation besides two that have already been completed.
According to the Sindh Board of Investment, there is no dearth of national and international entrepreneurs who are more than willing to invest in this energy corridor. In all, 106MW has already been injected into the national grid. This includes 56MW from a wind farm of Turkish firm Zorlu and another 56MW from a Fauji Fertiliser farm. Another 100MW will be available in a couple of months.
But the National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC) will not be in a position to accommodate 100MW until it upgrades its system. So it appears that the problem lies not so much with power generation but its distribution mechanism.
The Sindh government intends to collaborate with international firms to establish another wind power project of at least 500MW
The Sindh government intends to collaborate with international firms to establish another wind power project of at least 500MW. The government will provide land as its equity share and also lend some seed money, apart from offering a standing guarantee for administrative and logistic support at the provincial as well as the federal level.
The entire project would cost $1.2bn and its upfront tariff would be 14.667 cents per kilowatt hour. The provincial government will also offer a power purchase guarantee of 20 years.
The 30 projects with an installed capacity of 1,800MW are progressing on a fast-track basis. The companies setting up 50MW plants are: China International Water and Electric Corp., Sachal Engineering Works Pvt Ltd, Wind Eagle Ltd, Al Abbas Steel Group, Gul Ahmed Energy Ltd, Green Power (Pvt) Ltd, Beacon Energy, Master Wind Energy Ltd, Zephyr Power Pvt. Ltd, Lucky Energy Pvt. Ltd, Metro Power Co. (Pvt). Ltd, Sapphire Wind Power, Tenage Generasi Ltd, Dawood Power Ltd, Zorlu Energy Pakistan Ltd, Fauji Foundation Company, Iran Pak Wind Power Pvt. Ltd, Hawa Energy Pvt. Ltd, Deewan Energy Group, Fina Energy Ltd and Hartford Alternative Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Other plants with varying capacities are being set up by Tricon Boston (150MW), Titan Energy Pakistan Pvt. Ltd (10MW), Tapal Wind Energy (10MW), Ismail Power Pvt. Ltd (10MW), Akhtar and Sons Group (10MW), China Sunec Energy Pvt. Ltd (2.4MW), Pakistan Wind Energy Ltd (5MW), NBT Wind Power Pvt. Ltd (500MW) and United Energy Pakistan (150MW).
Meanwhile, the table shows the companies whose land allotment cases are pending with the land utilisation department.
Instead of looking for expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome options for power generation, the country should go for wind energy, which is relatively less expensive and its projects have short gestation periods, experts say. Meanwhile, the NTDC may also be asked to upgrade the transmission system on a war footing so that it can incorporate the power generated by the Gharo-Jimpir corridor in time.
Published in Dawn, Business & Finance weekly, October 5th , 2015