POF division gets solar power plant

Published: February 23, 2016
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Pakistan is lagging far behind in the global race for renewable energy technology and it must take benefit of sunlight for electricity production. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan is lagging far behind in the global race for renewable energy technology and it must take benefit of sunlight for electricity production. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: In another milestone in the country’s renewable energy sector, a one-megawatt solar power plant started generating electricity at Wah Nobel Chemicals Limited on Tuesday – one of the largest captive solar power projects in Pakistan.

“This is a landmark moment and a step towards achieving self-sufficiency in energy by tapping solar power,” said Federal Minister of Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain after inaugurating the project.

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Apart from supplying clean and cheap energy to Wah Nobel Chemicals, a division of Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), the project may act as a catalyst for the industrial and corporate sector to tap the country’s renewable energy potential.

“Hence, I view it as a significant stride in the realm of solar energy,” remarked Hussain.

He said the march towards prosperity, revival of economy, growth of gross domestic product, creation of job opportunities and poverty alleviation could only be ensured through industrialisation and initiation of mega infrastructure projects.

“Development and industrialisation is the cornerstone of government’s policy and is being pursued vigorously,” he remarked.

He pointed out that Pakistan was lagging far behind in the global race for renewable energy technology and it must take benefit of sunlight for electricity production.

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The Nobel Group has completed the project in collaboration with private-sector company Reon Energy Solutions. Under the project, completed in four months at a cost of around $1.5 million, Wah Nobel Chemicals will use solar power in its daytime shift and save approximately Rs24.5 million annually in electricity expenses.

While the project will lead Wah Nobel to self-reliance in energy production, it is also a leap forward towards promoting renewable energy solutions on an industrial scale.

The solar plant, with a useful life of 25 years, will annually generate 1.533 million kilowatt-hours (units) of electricity.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Woz ahmed
    Feb 24, 2016 - 1:49AM

    If the figures are correct, this project will pay for itself in 6 years.

    Solar has a bright future, makes me wonder why we are paying such high tariffs for Chinese power, specially coal with the related health downsides.Recommend

  • Fuzail
    Feb 24, 2016 - 12:31PM

    @Waz Ahmed – Solar costs more upfront. For furnace oil, the upfront cost is USD1m for every MW, but at least 50% more expensive for solar.
    The parliament should, in my opinion, consider passing a law that all new commercial and apartment buildings must have a solar PV roof to feed its daytime electricity power needs. Batteries to store power for supply during off-sun hours/days are expensive and can be made optional.Recommend

  • Waseem
    Feb 24, 2016 - 4:21PM

    So,let me get that straight
    $1.5m project generating 1.5m units (KWH) per annum.
    payback at the rate of Rs 10 /kwh is 10 years, not sure, if this had got any battery backup, or only a grid substitute.Recommend

  • Feb 25, 2016 - 12:48AM

    Actually, the payback from a solar installation can be very fast in a grid replacement or grid supplementary application (like this Wah Nobel/POF project), it may be less than 4 years in effect (without batteries). We have practically achieved this, those who know grid operators can understand what it means. Solar is the future of energy in Pakistan.Recommend

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