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45 wind projects of 3200 MW capacity under process: Mukhtar

Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar on Wednesday said that 45 wind power projects of around 3200 MW capacity were under process. He said the wind projects of 106 MW capacity were ready for commercial operation, while those of 150 MW capacity were under construction. Ten more projects having an investment of over 2 billion dollars will be launched, he added.

He was addressing as chief guest in the launching ceremony of commemorative postal stamp on inauguration of Pakistan’s first 50 MW wind energy project by the (Fauji Fertilizer Company) FFC.

He said that the commencement of commercial operation of the FFC Wind Farm was the beginning of exploiting the wind potential of renowned Gharo Keti Bandar Wind Corridor – an area that alone has 50,000MW power generation potential “I feel exalted that many more wind power projects are in pipeline and will commence their commercial operations one after another in the coming months”.

“Today, we are celebrating launch of the first wind farm in Pakistan, together with our partners in the achievement. Release of a commemorative stamp, indeed shows their commitment in encouraging all those, who serve Pakistan with courage and dedication” he said.

The minister said that the present government had added more power to the National Grid by completing thermal and small hydro plants. There is a gap between demand and supply and to bridge this “we have made a comprehensive plan to change our energy mix to generate cheaper electricity by using indigenous resources like wind, coal and hydel” he said.

Ch Mukhtar said that Pakistan had tremendous resources of wind, solar and hydro, but no one had attempted to harvest them until then.

“Having seen the success in wind sector, I look forward to the AEDBs contributions in other sectors of renewable energy as well. I am also told that the next year will see similar success in the projects from ‘Waste to Energy’, ‘Small Hydro’, and ‘Sugar Co-generation’” he remarked.

The minister said that the Fauji Fertilizer would be adding 10 MW Solar PV to this 50 MW wind project, making this a Hybrid- Base-load plant. He asked the NEPRA to announce the Feed-in-Tariff for the solar plants early.

AEDB CEO Arif Allauddin, in his welcome address, said that the launch of the first wind power project by the FFC was like the “first rain drop,” and it was just the beginning, many other projects were following closely.

The AEDB promised financial close for another four 50 MW projects in coming months, and reported that excluding the FFC plant, four other 50 MW plants – were already under construction, and at least a dozen more were expected to meet their financial close by the end of 2013, he added.

He appreciated the role and contributions of partner organizations like NEPRA, NTDC, CPPA, HESCO, private sector legal and financial experts, the EPC Contractor, the Turbine Manufacturers, the Provincial and the Local Government, Federal Ministry of Water and Power and others for their collective achievement.

He said that within the next year, Thatta would become the “Wind Capital” rather “Renewable Energy Capital” of Pakistan, generating all the energy that the Grid could take. Terming the development in the wind sector as the “Winds of Change,” he said that these winds would bring back to Thatta the glories of its past, and also bring to the country the much needed power, especially in the summers, when the demands were at its peak.

Managing Director of FFC, Lt. General R. Khalid Naeem Lodhi also spoke on the occasion and said that the company was planning to invest more capital in the power sector. Another wind project with the collaboration of China was under construction and soon would be completed.

Director General Pakistan Post Syed Ghulam Panjtan Rizvi said that the launch of the first wind project was a historic occasion, and the Pakistan Post was obliged to issue the stamp in a record time.

Earlier, the Minister launched the commemorative postal stamp on the inauguration of the first wind power project.

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