Government to encourage alternate energy projects: Prime Minister

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said that Pakistan has a lot of potential for alternate sources of producing electricity, which are beneficial both in terms of low production cost and being environment friendly.

The mega projects initiated by the Government, he added, would take longer time period for completion, while alternate energy projects take less time for completion, which would greatly supplement Government’s efforts to reduce the electricity demand and supply gap.

The Prime Minister said this while talking to a delegation of Norwegian Energy Building Technology (NBT)/China Energine (a joint venture of Norwegian and Chinese Companies) who called on him here on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister assured that the Government would extend every possible facility to encourage investors in the field of energy and it is for the same reason that investors have been extended attractive incentives in this sector. The Government has even allowed the Provincial Governments to set up electricity power projects to meet the needs.

The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Water & Power, the Provincial Governments and all the stakeholders to extend every possible assistance to the Norwegian / Chinese investors in the completion of the Project, adding that he will advise the Sindh Government to speed up the process to allocate suitable land at wind corridor allowing prompt initiation of the project.

He ensured full facilitation in this regard and asked the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) to complete the formalities and issue LOI to NBT at the earliest.

The Prime Minister stated that such projects in the remote areas of Pakistan like Gharo and Jamshoro in the Thatta District would bring about a revolution in the area both in the creation of jobs as well as to generate economic activities which would help reduce poverty.

The Prime Minister said that the Chinese partnership in this project is encouraging and satisfying since Pakistan has close fraternal ties with China. The success of this joint venture to set up Wind Farms in China, he added, would benefit in improving upon similar Wind Farms for Pakistan’s needs.

The Executive Chairman of the Joint Venture, Arne Myre said that the incentives given by the Government of Pakistan 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 specified time period.

The first phase of 250 MW Wind Power Projects, he mentioned, would start functioning till December 2012 while the second phase in the minimum possible time soon after that. The cooperation being extended by the Government and its organizations, he added, would definitely help to accelerate the process of implementing the projects.

Arne Myre said that their company owns 27% shares of Nordic Wind Power which is one of the big names in the wind turbine manufacturers in the world. He also said that their company also intends to set up hydro power projects in Pakistan.

M/s NBT Wind Power Project (Pvt) Ltd, subsidiary of NBT AS, a Norwegian based company had expressed its interest to set up 500 MW Wind Power Project in Pakistan by investing about one billion dollar in the alternative energy sector. Presenting their business and investment plan to the Government, the Chairman NBT AS, apprised that the company has already applied for issuance of LOI for 500 MW and expressed that after issuance of LOI, the company will complete 250 MW wind project till December, 2012.

The delegation included Luo Bin China Operations President, Kyrre Lund CDM Director, Malik Shahid Ahmed Khan COO NBT Wind Power Project (Pvt) Ltd, Ms. Esna Salman, Manager Coordination NBP Wind Power Project Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and Saira Khan Manager Projects UAE.

Minister for Water & Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Secretary Water & Power, CEO Alternate Energy Development Board and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.

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