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AEDB chairman promises to overcome energy crisis

Arif Alauddin, chief executive of the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), has said that a number of projects are in the pipeline to overcome the energy crisis in the country, giving relief to the people, a statement said on Monday.

In an interview, he expressed hope that 500MW will be added to the national grid during the next few months.He said his board is mandated only to attract private sector investment, while the government sector was meant only to regulate and facilitate the process.

Pakistan heavily relies on fossil fuels to meet its energy requirements and the country is spending more than $11 dollars on import of petroleum products every year, he said.It will be increased to $38 billion by 2015 but Pakistan still remains at strategic risk because it remains heavily dependent even for vital services, he added. After establishment of AEDB in 2003, Pakistan has made considerable progress in this field, he said, adding that Pakistan Alternative Energy Development Board has recently approved New Park Energy Phase I, a 400MW wind project, near Port Qasim. With the help of China 3 Gorges Corporation, 50MW wind energy plan at the point of Jhimpir in Sindh will be completed by next year.

The wind power pilot project has been made operational by installing a wind turbine at Daman-e-Koh in Islamabad, he said.The AEDB chairman said that recently a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed at a two-day second Pakistan-China Joint Energy Group (JEWG) meeting for setting up wind energy projects of accumulative capacity of 550MW initially.Moreover, the government has also created a fund to mainstream and implement alternative energy technologies in the country, he said.

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