Jhimpir Wind Power: Pakistan’s first wind farm gets global recognition

Published: April 22, 2012

Financial magazine awards Turkish firm for $136m project. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

RAWALPINDI: The first wind power generation project in Pakistan has recently been recognised by Project Finance Magazine. The financial magazine, in circulation for the last twenty years, is widely read by financiers, advisers, management consultants, stakeholders managing and developing projects globally and senior government officials.

Turkish-based Zorlu Group showed interest to set up the first wind farm in Pakistan. To turn this into a reality, the company decided to open a subsidiary in Pakistan called Zorlu Energy.

The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) played a crucial role in helping Zorlu Energy to initiate this project.

The Alternative Energy Development was founded by the government in 2003. The purpose of AEDB was to reduce Pakistan’s dependence on hydro and fossil fuel based power generation by identifying alternative energy resources like wind, solar, biogas and micro based run of the river projects. The other major task of AEDB was to help foreign firms invest in this sector.

AEDB had earlier identified that Pakistan has the wind power potential to generate 50,000MW from this free and clean source of energy. Unfortunately, there was no bankable wind data, the data available with the Met department was not at the required turbine hub height and the banks or the investors were not comfortable by these claims alone. AEDB came up with a novel idea of providing ‘wind risk’ data to the investors, making Pakistan the first country to provide such data.

Zorlu Energy was the first company to move ahead with guarantees and assistance from AEDB in setting up the first wind turbine in Jhimpir area of Sindh. Zorlu Energy is investing $136 million in this pioneer wind farm project.

The Istanbul-based company borrowed $38.1 million from the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., $36.8 million from the Asian Development Bank, $20 million from the Eco Trade & Development Bank and $16.2 million from Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL) of Pakistan for the project.

Other investors like Fauji Fertilizer Company, China International Water & Electric Corporation have also keenly followed the progress of this project and have initiated projects in this lucrative new and clean energy generation sector.

In recognition of its wind power project in Pakistan, Zorlu Energy Pakistan has received the “Middle East Renewable Deal of the Year” for 2011 by Project Finance Magazine.

Attaining this prestigious award by Zorlu Energy demonstrates the ease and security of investing in the renewable energy sector in Pakistan.

The government has been late in identifying the potential of free, clean and renewable power sources in the country. In October 2011, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority approved an Rs12.61 per KWh feed-in tariff for foreign financed wind power projects. This tariff has been approved to encourage foreign financiers to invest in this lucrative energy sector in Pakistan.

AEDB is expecting to achieve a target of harnessing renewable energy sources to produce 400MW by the end of this year. The target will be a record in itself as no country has been able to harness 400MW within six years of its first plant.

The writer comments on the energy sector and social development

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.

Reader Comments (52)

  • antanu g
    Apr 22, 2012 - 8:15PM

    an eye opener for those who claim pakistan is finished.things can be changed with grit and determination.our neighbour is down but not out and thats what matters.

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  • khan
    Apr 22, 2012 - 9:10PM

    Got to be kidding me.. the FIRST wind firm here??? That too few hundred MW, when our needs r in thousands??? India produce 30,000 MW wind and China 50,000 MW. This is 2012, and shamefully we r launching first wind firm after begging hard to the turks, and then spend 60% of budget on buying junk defense toys. Why taxpayers money are wasted rather than building wind firms in house?

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  • Apr 22, 2012 - 9:19PM

    Thats great.
    Now we need to make sure that India does not stop the wind by changing its direction like it did in case of our water. That will be called wind terrorism.

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  • Salman
    Apr 22, 2012 - 9:37PM

    Congratulation to Pakistan for acquiring first wind power. Inshallah, there are more power generation projects to come.

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  • Apr 22, 2012 - 10:03PM

    Pakistan is fortunate to have something many other countries do not, which are high wind speeds near major population centers, according to data published by Miriam Katz of Environmental Peace Review.

    Near Islamabad, the wind speed is anywhere from 6.2 to 7.4 meters per second (between 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Near Karachi, the range is between 6.2 and 6.9 (between 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour).

    In Balochistan and Sindh provinces, sufficient wind exists to power every coastal village in the country. There also exists a corridor between Gharo and Keti Bandar that alone could produce between 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of electricity, says Ms. Katz who has studied and written about alternative energy potential in South Asia.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/02/pakistan-launches-wind-power-projects.html

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  • Knotty
    Apr 22, 2012 - 10:13PM

    A great news!
    .
    Zaid Hamid: u were funny in the beginning but now its too much… plz don’t destroy the news! take some rest!

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  • G. Din
    Apr 22, 2012 - 11:09PM

    In the conspiratorial world of quixotic (after Don Quixote) fantasy where most Pakistanis like to dwell, windmills were the only things missing. Now, your world is complete!
    Seriously though, it is a very welcome, positive development for Pakistan and we, Indians, join the entire world in hoping that this wind farm will induce a sense of achievement and responsibility and sobriety in its citizens and spur Pakistan towards sustained constructive national endeavour instead of engaging in destructive terror as it is engaged in now.

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  • Aadi Virgo
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:27AM

    Govt. should introduce alternative energy courses in Pak universities.

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  • hamza khan
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:47AM

    this project was initiated by president musharrafs government, but upon his governments loss in 2008 the PPP govt dragged its feet on it for many years. it was the good nature of our turkish brothers that this project is finally complete.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:53AM

    Like false Tsunami, everyone has started fooling us. The photo of windmills is somewhere from Europe. The Turkish company has installed five windmills with capacity of only 1.2 MW each and total power generated is 6 MW.

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  • geeko
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:10AM

    @G. Din:
    Also interesting to note how you’re nearly Camusian existential angst towards Pakistan is pragmatically reflected in a piece about a wind farm and, as much as we’re all genuinely concerned by the opinions coming from across the border, perhaps you should spent the precious time of a surely over-exciting social life for more productive international endeavours – even hates has the ethics to, sometime, flirt with silence, and in your case silence may be charity.

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  • Praja tantra
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:47AM

    Pakistan can now export electricity to power hungry south asian brothers like India. Congrats.

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  • Knotty
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:10AM

    @ khan

    Since when you became ‘we’? You have always written anti Pakistani comments especially rubbishing all economic reports and you have often claimed to be an Indian.
    .
    If this achievement is something to be ashamed of, why award went to this company?
    .
    If India is so great, what brings you here with so much frustration? Why don’t you enjoy the fruits of success?

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  • Raj NJ
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:49AM

    ZH, you rock. Almost fell off the floor. This tops the list of all your comments.

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  • Free Thinker
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:37AM

    @Zaid Hamid: “Thats great. Now we need to make sure that India does not stop the wind by changing its direction like it did in case of our water. That will be called wind terrorism.”
    That’s hilarious. I hope it was not on a serious note and you were trying to crack joke. As for ‘changing the direction of our water’, would you please cite some examples for our better understanding.

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  • Dr Masood
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:21AM

    Sorry for the criticism. But what a silly article that doesn’t even mention how much electricity this wind farm is actually producing at present.

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  • Hakeem
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Hydal power is chiepest, second comes Coal based and third is Wind

    Still all of the above are far more cheaper than rental power plants running on expensive OIL!

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  • justice to be done
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Zorlu Energy Pakistan will be producing electricity from this facility for a period of twenty years. The first phase of the project is a 49.5 MW plant with an option to expand the operation to 300 MW. This is the missing information for readers of this article from company’s website!!

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  • justice to be done
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Some more interesting info from the website of wind farm equipment supplier. Zorlu Energy Pakistan’s 56.4 MW wind power plant will have an estimated annual production of 159,000 MWh per year, which corresponds to the residential electricity consumption of approx. 350,000 persons in Pakistan. Moreover, the wind farm will save the environment from more than 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions on an annual basis.

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  • Visibly Invisible
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:19AM

    By putting up a wind farm right in the middle of a wetland would kill the population of birds thus harming our fragile eco-system. We get a lot of birds that migrate specially through this area. It would be interesting to learn if any research was done with this focus.

    P.S. Please just get over your petty India vs. Pakistan fight… renewable energy is good for environment and both countries breathe the same air.

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  • You Said It
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:24AM

    Why is the photo of an offshore windfarm? Pakistan has none of these.

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  • Udaya Bose
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:36AM

    @Zaid Hamid:
    You really rock my friend . I am a great fan of yours.

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  • Organ of Big Profit
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:32PM

    Organ-ic growth is plausablie

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  • Polpot
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:35PM

    “But what a silly article that doesn’t even mention how much electricity this wind farm is actually producing at present.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Now that we have a wind farm you also want to know how much electricity…….

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  • Apr 23, 2012 - 2:17PM

    At last we have started utilizing free wind power which Pakistan has plenty to overcome our energy shortage. This is a great start and shows how we can get our friendly countries to help us out. I hope similar projects will be undertaken and Pakistan can become self sufficent in power generation.

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  • AAT
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:18PM

    All thanks to Musharraf Govt. for starting the initiative.

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  • Ammar
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:24PM

    @khan:

    I don’t know why you are upset Khan sb. but project is being financed by WB, ADB, HBL and other small financers, if you bother to read.

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  • Atta
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:28PM

    excellent, the alternate energy projects were initiated in 60s and 70s by installing small scale bio-gas projects in 2000 locations including punjab and sindh villages but since then no other government paid heed to that project and it was totally ignored,
    Coastal areas of sindh and balouchistan are home to several plans where wind energy could be turned into clean source of electricity if only invested, pakistan has alot of potential in solar energy because we have plenty of sun throughout the year,
    But these progressive forms of energy have been ignored and never invested in.

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  • Engineer
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:50PM

    @Polpot: It is still to be constructed, may be you confused with the picture of article. This project should be around 50 MW, I believe.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:14PM

    This, for a change, is excellent news except that it should have been done ten years earlier. I hope it serves as an example to other potential investors. I also hope we are up-dated on how this project is faring in the months to come.

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  • asma@london
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:38PM

    @khan:
    For pessimists all is hopeless. Have the audacity to be thankful at least once in your lifetime!!!!

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  • Jawad
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:45PM

    Good to know something good. I pray that some of our own investors come forward for the materialization of such kind of ideas

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  • Humayun Bhatty
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:02PM

    Hope Pakistan can overcome its energy shortages asap. InshaAllah.

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  • Surya
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:06PM

    @antanu g:
    Wow..you are the only one who opened the comments and straightaway started the provocation..BTW, why “our neighbour” just say “we” would suffice..

    So much for language of peace/love..Lol..

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  • Knotty
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:26PM

    @ Zaid Hamid

    Stop praising yourself with various IDs. You were good in the beginning but now u r becoming boring!

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  • Majed
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:58PM

    what good will be this cheaper resource of energy if we are still going to be paying Rs. 12.61 per unit? For investors trying to build on positive IRRs this attraction may be just a little attractive after serving the pockets of several Pakistani’s involved in the project. Pakistan allocates the land for this project and also the guarantee to buy all the produce at a very high price. Win-Win for the business as well as the allocating board. All loss for the consumers that will also be paying tax on every unit they consume

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  • Apr 23, 2012 - 6:30PM

    Pakistan should not be reluctant to give green signal to all the foreign companies interested in investing here in the alternative power generation projects including wind and solar energy. The cost per unit would definitely decrease as the country grows in experience and expertise. There should be an equal emphasis on the training of Pakistani engineers in the field.

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  • Rationalist
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:25PM

    @Majed:
    You have rightly observed that unit generation costs from the wind power plant projects under implementation phase in Pakistan are quite high. However, the following aspects should also be considered in this respect:
    1. Due to uncertainties and risk factors associated with investments in a wind power plant project in Pakistan, components of tariff associated with capital expenditures (CAPEX) are on higher side. We can hope that with more wind power plants coming online, trust of all stake-holders would develop resulting in decrease in CAPEX.
    2. It is very important to recognize the options available with us for power generation. Obviously the best options are those which offer lower generation costs and are environmental friendly. Wind power plants entail much lower generation costs than oil fired thermal power plants and are environmental friendly.
    3. It is also worth noting that wind power plants alone are not the solution of power crisis in Pakistan rather they are just part of the solution. Coal fired power projects and hydropower projects which would produce electricity at lower rates should be our top priority. We also need to accelerate our efforts for import of natural gas and LNG.

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  • Uza Syed
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:24PM

    IF FOLLOWING IS AS CLAIMED——THAN — IT SEEMS WE HAVE A SOLUTION NOW LET’S GET GOING :

    (1) Pakistan has the wind power potential to generate 50,000MW from this free and clean source of energy.

    (2) AEDB is expecting to achieve a target of harnessing renewable energy sources to produce 400MW by the end of this year.

    (3) Zorlu Energy is investing $136 million in this pioneer wind farm project.

    (4) Rs12.61 per KWh feed-in tariff for foreign financed wind power projects.

    (5) Other investors like Fauji Fertilizer Company, China International Water & Electric Corporation have also keenly followed the progress of this project and have initiated projects in this lucrative new and clean energy generation sector.

    Recommend

  • Hassan
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:52PM

    Good to see some good news from Pakistan on the topic of energy.

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  • Concerned
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:28PM

    @Uza Syed:
    You missed out 500 MW of electricity from friendly India and as per today news, Pak govt would be inviting tenders from Indian companies soon and 45 km, 220 KV line will be laid within six months of signing of the agreement.

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  • antanu g
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:41PM

    @khan:
    a first is a first….and where did you get the idea that india produce 30000 mw wind power. even if it is so, size and remt of india is much larger than pakistan…why compare..india is also heavily industrialized.there should not be a comparision between the two.

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  • antanu g
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:43PM

    @G. Din:
    thats what matters….and that should be our response to our smaller neighbor.

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  • Rationalist
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:08PM

    @antanu g:
    India produces about 15000 MW from wind. As rightly pointed out, India’s power sector is much larger in size than Pakistan. In fact, India’s installed generation capacity is about 9 times the installed generation capacity of Pakistan.

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  • Ch. Nadeem Aslam
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:06AM

    Good work, Pakistan is full of potentials. There is a lot to do in all fields. There is no comparison between Pakistan and India. Pakistan is a much better place to live and invest. Our leadership must do some work in the field of electronics and provide best education so our own engineers can develop such projects.Recommend

  • Southpole
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Good initiative Pakistan. Appreciate the good things in your country :D

    @Khan & @Rationalist
    As of March 2012
    India’s total installed power capacity – 2,00,287 MW
    Total Renewable energy capacity – 24,500 MW
    Wind Energy – 17,320 MW

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  • Pakistani
    Apr 24, 2012 - 1:02AM

    @Rationalist:
    That is because India has a 10 time larger population than us, and your economy is also growing.

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  • Hafeez
    Apr 24, 2012 - 9:09AM

    Way to go Pakistan :) Great news. Once this becomes a success I am sure Pakistan would become a hub of renewable technologies. I am so excited about exploiting this huge potential. Lets please also focus on solar…

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  • hasan
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:14AM

    Having been closely involved in the research and establishment of potential wind turbine projects in Karachi, I hope and prey this project is successful.

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  • Ali
    Apr 24, 2012 - 2:26PM

    @khan:
    So Khan Sahib.. you would rather have us start with a mega-mega watt project??? how about you put up the money for the inaugral project. Better yet.. how about you (and I) pay our taxes and stop stealing from the country first.

    Masha-Allah people like yourself can find fault in EVERYthing, I would love to see you at the pearly gates arguing about your living conditions in Jannat.

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  • A. Q. Bhatti
    Apr 25, 2012 - 12:17AM

    Thank GOD.
    It is good news that in the coming days Pakistan will be generating energy from wind too.

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  • Hadi Ansari
    Apr 30, 2012 - 6:34PM

    An excellent beginning and it is hoped government will ensure that this project is successfully executed which will surely inspire others producers of international repute to join the club.The Turkish company has been on this project since 2003/4 and because of bureaucratic hurdles it has taken over nine years to put things together and if we really want the project to start production within six months past mistake and greed should not be repeated.

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