A wind turbine of 1.2mw, the first such alternate energy source, has been commissioned while four others of same capacity will start supplying power by end December 2008, it was announced.
The Turkish company, Zorlu Enerji Pakistan, is erecting the turbines in Jhimpir, 70km from Karachi, each capable of producing 1.2mw of electricity, its CEO Murat Sungur Bursa told a press a conference held here on sidelines of an international management convention.
“Though initially 6mw of electricity will be produced, the project will be expanded to 50mw later,” he said, adding the conditions are conducive for alternate energy projects in the country.
Energy projects not dependent on oil are vital for Pakistan which is suffering from severe energy shortage and a ballooning current account deficit as it continues to spend billions of dollars on import of fuel oil to run thermal power plants.
It has been quite some time since a natural wind corridor from Gharo to Keti Bandar in Sindh province was discovered. This windmill marks the first of many such projects in pipeline.
The incentives offered by government for such projects have also helped to generate international interest.
“Internal rate of return of 15 percent (annually) is very good. Other countries do not offer more than 12 percent,” Zorlu’s Project Manager Yagmar Ozdemir had said in a media briefing a few weeks back.
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has awarded the company a tariff of 12.1 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) while government has insured purchase of electricity.
Getting a reasonable tariff has been a thorny issue in establishment of windmills and many companies including Zorlu have had to seek new tariff repeatedly.
Total cost of the project is $110 million. The company has also applied for carbon credits as it will replace emission of 10,500 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Since creation of AEDB in 2003 a lot of companies had applied for wind power generation licenses but not a single megawatt has been added to national grid up till now. AEDB says lacklustre progress was due to technical issues like Sindh government’s delay in leasing out land. “Agreement on 33,000 acres of land has just been issued to us,” he added.