PM directs Sindh to provide land for wind power plants


After an assurance by the Norwegian wind power giant, Norwegian Energy Building Technology (NBT) that it could install 250 MW wind power project by December next year, provided land allocation issues were resolved, the Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani assured that the Sindh government would be asked to expedite land allocation.
A delegation of joint venture company consisting of Norwegian NBT and Chinese Energine, led by Chairman of NBT Arne Myre along with the Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar called on the Prime Minister on Tuesday. An official source said the company representative gave a detailed briefing on the project and their investment for $ 1 billion to set up 500 MW wind power plant in the wind corridor of Sindh province.
They said that they had applied for Letter of Interest (LOI) for the project but expressed concerns over the land allocation in the wind corridor of Sindh province. The company assured that if it was allocated land for wind farm it would immediately start the project and first phase of 250 MW would be completed by December 2012. The wind corridor along the Sindh Balochistan coast has the potential to generate 60,000 MW of wind power.
The biggest hurdle in harnessing the potential is allocation of barren land for wind farms by the provincial governments. Nearly 20 acres per megawatt is required for the wind farm. Investors have expressed their interest in developing wind farms on the condition that the government should provide it with land for the project to avoid excessive costs.
Meanwhile, a statement issued from the Prime Minister House said that the Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Water and Power, provincial governments to extend every possible assistance to the Norwegian and Chinese investors in the completion of the project.
He advised the Sindh government to speed up the process of allocating suitable land in the wind corridor allowing prompt initiation of the project. He asked the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) to complete the formalities and issue LOI to NBT at the earliest. PM said that such projects in remote areas like Gharo and Jamshoro in Thatta district would bring about a transformation in the region through job creation that would help in poverty alleviation. He said that the Chinese partnership in the project was encouraging since Pakistan has close fraternal ties with China.
Chairman of NBT Arne Myre said that the incentives given by the government for setting up wind power projects in Thatta district are quite healthy and attractive. He assured that the 500 MW wind farms would be completed in the specified time period. The first phase of 250 MW wind power projects would start functioning by December 2012 while the second phase would also be completed in minimum possible time. The cooperation being extended by the government and its organizations would definitely help accelerate the process of implementing the projects. He also said that their company also intends to set up hydro power projects in Pakistan.
The delegation included Luo Bin China Operations President, Kyrre Lund, CDM Director, Malik Shahid Ahmed Khan, COO, NBT Wind Power Project, Esna Salman, Manager Coordination NBT and Manager Projects UAE Saira Khan. Minister and Secretary Water and Power, CEO AEDB and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.