The Renewable Energy (RE) sector attracted foreign investment of over $3 billion during the last year, which while showing the success of initiatives taken so far to exploit such resources also indicates vast investment potential in this particular sector.
“Due to the potential, robust policy framework, lucrative tariff structures and bankable security documents, Pakistan has become a choice investment destination for private investors,” said Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amjad Awan.
He said that the government was taking pragmatic steps to harness the available renewable energy potential, diversify its energy mix and ensure energy security and sustainable development in the country.
He observed that owing to the promotion and development of RE technology in the country, a record investment had been witnessed in just one year, revealing the interest of investors in this sector.
The CEO said that detailed resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass was carried out in the country through ESMAP’s (World Bank) assistance. Ground installations for measuring of solar irradiation have also been made in several parts of the country, he added.
Amjad said that the AEDB had issued over 25 Letters of Interest (LoI) for various solar projects with cumulative capacity of 663MW so far adding that all these projects would attain commercial operations date (COD) by 2018.
The Punjab government has also issued LOI for 600MW projects so far while financing for 300MW solar power project has already been done.
The CEO said that Quaid-i-Azam solar park was already operational and had been supplying 100MW electricity to the system while 300MW more would be added to the national grid by 2016. The park would generate a total of 1,000MW by 2017, he said.
He said that AEDB was also pursuing 35 solar PV power projects with cumulative capacity of approximately 1,111.44MW.
Three solar power projects of cumulative capacity of 300MW had been signed by EPA and IA and were under construction, he said. These projects included M/s Appolo Solar Pakistan Ltd (100MW), M/s Crest Energy Pakistan Ltd (100MW) and M/s Best Green Energy Pakistan Ltd (100MW) all located at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur.
Amjad Awan said that six IPPs, with a cumulative capacity of 47.84MW, had also obtained Letter of Support (LOS) from AEDB and were expected to achieve financial close by December 31.
The projects included M/s Access Electric Pvt (10MW), Pind Dadan Khan, M/s Bukhsh Solar Pvt (10MW) Bahawalpur, M/s Sanjwal Solar Power (5.04MW) Sanjwal, M/s Safe Solar Power Pvt (10.28MW) Bahawalpur, M/s Access Solar Pvt (11.52MW), Pind Dadan Khan and M/s Blue Star Hydel Pvt (1MW) Pind Dadan Khan.
To a question, he said that some 250MW solar projects were also included in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Quality standards have been developed for restricting import of sub-standard solar equipment (PV panels and ancillary equipment), he said and added that the Economic Coordination Committee had also approved standard for import of solar PV panels. “In the next two-three months, implementation on the standard will be enforced,” he said.
To a question, Awan said that presently, there was no laboratory for testing the standard of solar PV panels. However, PC 1 had been prepared in collaboration with ministry of science and technology for setting up three testing laboratories in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, he said.