KARACHI: Since the US eased 37-year old economic sanctions on Iran, Pakistan has been looking to normalise trade ties with its neighbour.
The two bordering countries signed an agreement in April 2017 to open commercial bank branches to conduct trade through formal channels. Pakistan has been importing power from Iran for a long time, and in the latest move an Iranian company has been granted a power generation licence for its 10-year old proposed 49.5-megawatt wind power project in Sindh.
The power regulator, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), announced on Monday that it has granted a power generation licence to Iran-Pak Wind Power (Pvt) Limited (IPWPPL) for a 20-year period from the day it starts commercial operations.
“The project will achieve [commercial production] by June 30, 2019,” Nepra said.
According to IPWPPL’s application for the grant of the generation licence, the cost of the project is estimated at $112.8 million, it was learnt.
The main sponsor of the IPWPPL project includes SUNIR (Iran Power & Water Equipment and Services Export Company) of Iran whereas the minority sponsors include the Planet Group and the Tufail Group of Pakistan, the authority reported. “SUNIR is an Iranian group company, constituted of 24 independent companies involved in manufacturing of a wide range of different equipment and a rich experience of engineering services and consultancy in water and electricity industries.
“Since its establishment in 1994, SUNIR has successfully performed a wide range of activities in more than 18 countries,” stated the documents.
SUNIR first expressed interest to set up the wind power project in in Pakistan in 2006. Later, it made huge efforts and spent time to acquire the required piece of land in the wind corridor of Sindh.
The project also qualifies for carbon credits. “Projects coming into operation up to the year 2020 can qualify for the carbon credits,” it said. IPWPPL is setting up an approximately 50-megawatts wind power project in the Jhimpir wind corridor of district Thatta.
Wind power capacities
Nepra said that the Alternative Energy Development Board has identified two wind corridors (of Jhimpir and Gharo) in the province of Sindh. The estimated potential for these two corridors is more than 50,000 megawatts.
At the moment, around 13 projects with a cumulative installed capacity of around 650MW have been installed and commissioned whereas another 25 projects including IPWPPL, with cumulative capacity of around 1400MW, are in various stages of implementation.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2017.