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Alternative energy: US agrees to assist in setting up wind power plant

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of the United States (US) and Sapphire Wind Power Company signed an agreement for setting up a 50 megawatts (MW) Greenfield Wind power project in Jhimpir on Wednesday.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson, Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Omar, officials of the Water and Power Ministry and representatives of Sapphire Wind Power Company attended the signing ceremony.

The project is sponsored by Sapphire Textile Mills Limited and Bank Alfalah Ltd. OPIC is also extending financial assistance.

Wind turbines for the project will be supplied by General Electric US, contracted from Hydro China Corporation.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Richard Olson said the United States was committed to extending support for strengthening the Pakistani economy, and highlighted US support in helping Pakistan deal with its energy crisis.

Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Umar said the government was making strenuous efforts to improve Pakistan’s investment profile and bring foreign investment for projects in various sectors.

OPIC will support investment in Pakistan by providing capital and risk mitigation tools, including financing from large structured finance to small business loans, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, said officials.

Since 1975 OPIC has committed more than $1.3 billion for 123 projects in Pakistan. These projects that have addressed a range of problems across a variety of sectors, from increasing food supply, clean water and electricity, to helping small businesses obtain financing and introducing advanced telecommunication technology.

Some of the projects it is supporting today include the health industry, credit for small and medium sized businesses, and expanding a mobile phone network. These projects not only address immediate needs, but they are also long term investments that will deliver sustainable benefits over many years, and help carry the country into a more prosperous future.

These projects build on past progress and underscore US commitment to forming long-term partnerships with US investors and businesses in Pakistan, said officials.

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