KARACHI: The provincial government is setting up three 400MW solar power projects in Karachi and Jamshoro with the assistance of the World Bank and 1,462 acres have been allotted for the purpose.

This emerged at a meeting of Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh with a high-level delegation of the World Bank, led by Regional Director Infrastructure Guangzhe Chen.

Official sources said that the meeting discussed solar energy projects in detail in the province.

The energy minister told the World Bank team that the provincial government was setting up three 400MW solar power projects in Karachi and Jamshoro with the support of the bank.

He informed the visiting delegation that 1,462 acres of land had been allocated for this purpose and the allotment of land was included in the agenda of the provincial cabinet meeting to be held next week.

The energy minister said that once the land was allotted, the competitive tariff bidding would be invited through tenders.

He said that due to the recent floods, there was a dire need for solar home systems in rural areas and the provincial government was considering providing 200,000 solar home systems.

Imtiaz Shaikh said that the energy department was sending a summary to the cabinet for consideration and approval for distribution of solar home systems at 90 per cent subsidised rates in rural areas and 50pc subsidy in urban areas.

The World Bank assured its full support for the subsidy amount as per the decision of the provincial government.

It was also agreed in the meeting that water pumping stations and sewage motors in cities would be solarised on priority basis.

The energy minister told the World Bank delegation that Sindh Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (SEECA) had been established and progress was underway for the establishment of the Sindh Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

He said that the provincial government was a fast developing province in coal projects, wind projects, transmission line and other activities of energy sector rehabilitation to ensure power supply.

It was told in the meeting that the proposal to acquire the management of DISCO’S was also under consideration and in this regard last week in his meeting with the federal energy minister in Karachi this matter was also considered and technical assistance had been sought from the World Bank in this regard.

World Bank Country Director Naji Benhassine, Team Leader Anjum Ahmed, Sindh Solar Energy Project Programme Leader Teuta Kacaniku, Energy Secretary Abubakar Madani and Project Director Sindh Solar Mahfooz Qazi also participated in the meeting.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2022

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