Sindh seeks federal approval for five wind power projects

HYDERABAD: Sindh Minis­ter for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh has urged his federal counterpart Omar Ayub to ensure issuance of notification for five wind power projects, to be installed by independent power producers (IPPs) in the province, to encourage investors and promote clean power industry.

The minister said in a letter to the federal minister on Thursday that tariffs of the five wind power projects in Sindh had not been notified yet in the Gazette of Pakistan.

He said that a delegation of local and foreign investors had contacted Sindh’s department of energy for investment in wind power generation but this delay in procedural issues might discourage investment.

He said the wind power projects awaiting tariff included; Norinco International Thatta Power, Iran-Pak Wind Power, Sino Well, Shafi Energy and Moro Power Company.

He pointed out that it was clearly mentioned in Alternative Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy 2019 that share of renewable energy resources in the country’s electricity resources should be 20 per cent by 2025 and 30pc by 2030.

He said that under the policy, it was important to encourage renewable energy projects to achieve targets set by the policy as it would generate cheap electricity.

He urged power division of the federal ministry of energy to notify tariffs of the five projects to facilitate power generation from alternative and renewable sources and encourage investment in the sector.

These five IPPs will cumulatively contribute 275MW of clean energy to Pakistan’s overall energy mix. “Alternate Energy Board (AEBD) is likely to meet in the days to come and I think the board should discuss the issue of our projects pending publication of notification in the gazette for our tariff of 3.22 cent,” said owner of an IPP.

The five IPPs are to be established in Jhimpir while around 10 IPPs are being set up in Jhimpir area of Thatta and Jamshoro districts which will add 610MW of energy to national grid.

The 24 wind power projects — set up during Musharraf government and successive regimes — were contributing around 1,235MW of energy to national grid. Their tariffs were said to have been approved at the rate of 17 cents and eight cents per unit cost. And tariff of these five pending IPPs were approved at the cost of 3.22 cents per unit.

Sheikh said that he failed to understand when power tariff had been approved by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) what was the reason to withhold publication of its notification in the gazette.

“When there is shortage of power these IPPs are to contribute inexpensive energy to the national grid, therefore, it should be done as soon as possible,” said the minister.

He said that when tariff of the IPPs was cheap and covered as per new policy for renewal energy then why it was being inordinately delayed. “It is a matter of just one notification now when everything else has been settled by AEDB and Nepra,” he said.

The IPP owners had already made an appeal to the prime minister in this regard. “We are trying to meet the prime minister but it is unfortunate that we are not yet able to have audience with him on this issue,” said the IPP owner from Karachi. His IPP is to be established in Jhimpir.

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