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Alternate energy projects generating just 6MW electricity

Alternate energy projects in Sindh have so far been adding just six megawatts (mw) electricity to the system and hopefully 30000wm electricity would be generated by the end of 2013, says Sindh Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Shaikh Muhammad Afzal.

Answering the queries during the question hour of Sindh Assembly here Thursday, he said that presently there exist 32 wind power generation companies in the private sector, and their projects were at various stages of completion.

Explaining the delay in the production of alternate energy in Sindh, he said that the lands were allotted in Sindh for setting up alternate energy projects, but the investors did not set up them. In February 2011 the land allocated to the investors through the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) was cancelled as none of the projects was completed within the stipulated time.

Later, the cancelled allotments were reviewed on case to case basis after taking additional bank guarantees and undertakings to complete these projects by the end of 2013, he said, adding that the progress was now being monitored and in case the projects were again not established within the time-schedule the allotted lands would be withdrawn.

When asked that no environmental impact assessment (EIA) was made regarding the Engro Coal Power Project, he said an EIA report was submitted by the company to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sindh on December 4, 2012, and a public hearing was held on November 12, 2010 at Islamkot.

Subsequently, assessment by technical experts was now being taken up, he added.

To another question, the minister said that a project of 50mw through solar energy in upper Sindh was proposed in the year 2009.

However, a feasibility study was being conducted through the Annual Development Program this year and after the competition of the study the actual project could be materialised.

He told the house that through AEDB and the provincial government as many as 32 wind projects have been taken up by the private investors in Thatta and Jamshoro districts to produce about 2000-2500mw electricity. He said that the Sindh Board of Investment and Sindh Board of Revenue were spearheading these projects and his department was not involved in them.

Shaikh Afzal said that through an ADP scheme titled “supply of solar stoves in rural areas of Sindh”, solar stoves/cookers will be distributed in the rural areas of the province, which would ensure conservation of forests for protecting ecosystem, especially saving mangroves.

He said that this project would also reduce vulnerability to waterborne diseases, as boiled water would be available in the villagers free of cost.

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