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.