WAPDA holds road show in Bangkok, seeks global partners for floating solar project


LAHORE: The Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) held a road show in Bangkok on Monday to attract international bidders for its 300 megawatt (MW) floating solar project, the first of its kind in the country.

The project, which will use floating solar panels on two reservoirs in the Tarbela-Ghazi Barotha hydropower complex, aims to generate clean and low-cost electricity for the national grid.

The road show, which was attended by 58 delegates from 50 international firms, also featured presentations by WAPDA officials and consultants on the financial, technical and bidding details of the project.

WAPDA has already floated bidding documents in October 2023 as per the World Bank’s procurement guidelines. The bidding submission deadline is March 12, 2024.

The World Bank has shown interest to provide 95 percent financing for the project, which is expected to cost around $300 million.

Chairman WAPDA Engr (retd) Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani, Pakistan’s Charge d’ Affairs in Thailand Yasir Hussain, World Bank’s representatives, WAPDA high-ups and the project’s consultants also attended the event.

WAPDA chairman said the project offered excellent business opportunities for contracting firms through a transparent international competitive bidding process.

“WAPDA has a strong asset base worth billion of dollars and decades-long professional expertise for implementing mega projects in water and power sectors,” Ghani said. “We are keen to work with the renowned firms to execute the maiden floating solar project in Pakistan to make it yet another success story in the country.”

The chairman expressed the hope that contracting firms from across the world, would bid for the project in a large number, as the project site is highly secured and easily accessible.

Later, WAPDA member finance, member power, and the consultants briefed the participants about WAPDA, its revenue streams, collaboration with international financial institutes and development portfolio as well as financial, technical and bidding details of the project.

The chairman, along with WAPDA team and the consultants, also responded to the queries of the participants during the question-answer session.

WAPDA’s 300 MW-floating solar project aims at generating clean energy from Tarbela-Ghazi Barotha Complex through development of environment-friendly, innovative floating solar and hydropower hybrid operations.

Under the project, WAPDA will deploy two 150 MW floating solar plants – one on Ghazi Head Pond at Tarbela Complex and the other on North Pond at Ghazi-Barotha Complex.

The floating solar plants will be connected with the Switch Yards of Tarbela and Ghazi- Barotha Hydel Power Stations to provide 484 million units low-cost electricity to the national grid every year.

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