Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan on Wednesday formally inaugurated two new wind energy projects in Jhimpir area in district Thatta, a 60 MW plant of Metro Wind Power Ltd and a 50 MW renewable project of Gul Ahmed Electric Ltd.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the federal minister said that every new wind power project launched in Gharo-Jhimpir Corridor of Sindh was a step towards achieving the national goal of producing cheaper and clean electricity through indigenous energy sources. Mr Dastagir said Gharo-Jhimpir Corridor being the site of several wind power plants represented the energy future of Pakistan that stood for maximum utilization of indigenous power resources of clean electricity production.
The federal minister said the launching of new wind power plants in the country was fully in line with the energy policy of the present government having the compulsory provision that any new generation capacity to be installed in the country shouldn't consume imported fuels for the protection of the environment.
He appreciated that new wind power plants would also go a long way in slashing the electricity bills as their tariff was much less than the electricity tariff being charged from general consumers in the country. He assured the audience that the present government would do its best to facilitate the launching of new wind energy projects in the country by expanding the national transmission capacity as it required greater production of clean electricity for powering economic growth in Pakistan.
The minister said the power production on the basis of expensive imported fuels would gradually be phased out in Pakistan and instead, there would be greater reliance on wind, solar, nuclear, and hydro resources for clean electricity generation for every consumer in the country. He said the present government stood fully committed to introducing the most advanced technology for consuming Thar coal for energy production so that there should be minimal harm to the environment.
Also speaking on the occasion, the chief of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Shah Jahan Mirza, assured the audience that AEDB had been doing its best to act as the one-window facility for prospective investors who wanted to launch clean energy projects in Pakistan. He said the AEDB had been helping out the incoming energy projects to play its due part in achieving the vision of the government that stands for 60 per cent power production in the country through clean energy sources by the year 2030.
Sarah Mooney, British Deputy High Commissioner to Karachi, said that a transition towards clean energy was essential to Pakistan to build back better after the devastating floods that had affected 33 million people. The UK, in line with its COP27 commitments, was playing a leading role in providing investment and expertise to enable Pakistan to shift towards a greener and climate-resilient economy, she said.
This is exemplified by these power projects by Metro Wind Power Ltd and Gul Ahmed Electric Ltd in the Jhimpir wind power corridor. "The UK will continue to seek out new opportunities to facilitate similar energy projects moving forward," she added.
Danish Iqbal, Chairman Gul Ahmed Energy Group and Metro Group of Companies thanked federal, Sindh governments, National Transmission and Dispatch Company, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, AEDB, British International Investment, and British Deputy High Commission, and all other stakeholders for their continued trust and faith in professional capabilities of his new clean electricity ventures.
"Most notably, the newly launched Metro Wind Power Limited is the only 60MW project, whereas all others are 50MW in this round of projects. Indeed, a major accomplishment," he said. Habib Yousuf, Country Director, Pakistan at British International Investment (BII), said the BII was excited to join Gul Ahmed Metro Group in launching the Metro Wind Power Limited project which is a key milestone for the Metro-BII Renewables joint venture. "When we established the platform, we saw a promising opportunity to boost renewable energy generation and help scale up clean energy capacity and use across Pakistan," he added.