Govt to merge AEDB and PPIB

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The government has decided to merge the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) for ease of doing business in the power sector.

As envisioned by the government under the ease of doing business initiative, work on the merger of AEDB into PPIB is in full swing for processing power projects of all technologies, including alternative and renewable energy projects, at one place.

In this regard, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar was briefed on success stories in the power sector of Pakistan during a visit to the PPIB office on Thursday.

In a detailed presentation, PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the minister about PPIB’s functions, achievements and future endeavours.

PPIB has various success stories in successive rounds of power policies announced from time to time. As a result, since its inception, the PPIB has helped develop 40 independent power plants (IPPs) of more than 17,550 megawatts in the country worth around $20 billion. These IPPs are based on multiple fuels/technologies.

It was highlighted that for promoting domestic resources, for the first time in the energy history of Pakistan, hydel and Thar coal-based IPPs were being established.

In this regard, the PPIB has played an instrumental role in achieving a historical breakthrough as coal reserves at Thar are being exploited with coal mining and power generation projects. Of these, 660MW Engro power project has already been completed and is supplying electricity to the national grid while another three projects of 1,320MW are under construction.

Similarly, for generating eco-friendly and cheap electricity, two large-sized hydel IPPs, namely 720MW Karot and 884MW Suki Kinari, are at advanced stages of construction work, which are likely to be completed in December 2021 and December 2022 respectively.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s largest private sector hydroelectric power project namely 1,124MW Kohala along with 700MW Azad Pattan are at advanced stages of achieving financial close. Recently, both of these IPPs have successfully executed project agreements, which was one of the pre-requisites for achieving financial close.

The minister was told that the development of hydroelectric power projects would bring several indirect benefits, which included but were not limited to the creation of employment opportunities, development of allied infrastructure and industry, boosting agriculture industry through a smooth supply of electricity and water, flourishing tourism activities in the area and initiation of community welfare programmes under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

PPIB is processing a large chunk of energy projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), out of which four projects of 4,620MW have already been completed while the remaining nine power projects of more than 7,000MW are at different stages of processing. A majority of these are under construction or about to start construction activities.

Highlighting future plans, the PPIB MD stated that the PPIB was handling a portfolio of 22 IPPs of more than 12,000MW, of which 14 were hydroelectric power projects of 6,175MW while six IPPs of 4,290MW were based on Thar coal. PPIB is targeting to complete seven power projects of more than 5,500MW by the end of next year in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the occasion, Azhar lauded the efforts of PPIB for its past achievements and the current efforts for developing the power sector. The minister assured the PPIB of his full support and guidance and urged it to work more diligently and keep providing expert facilitation to investors so that they were able to invest in the sector more confidently.

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