Sindh govt signs agreement to launch solar energy project

WB will provide $100 million for the project, Sindh govt will furnish $5 million

​ Our Correspondent November 16, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh energy Department has signed an agreement with private firms to launch the World Bank (WB) sponsored Sindh Solar Energy project (SSEP) worth $105 million. The agreement was signed in the presence of Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Briefing the CM on the occasion, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said that WB will provide $100 million for the execution of the project and the remaining funds of $5 million are to be provided by the provincial government. He further informed the CM that a project director for SSEP has been appointed, who has collaborated with private firms for the implementation of the project. Additionally, K-Electric, HESCO and SEPCO will extend support for the completion of the project, the energy minister said.

The project includes the construction of a 400-megawatt solar park at a cost of $40 million in Manjhand, setting up 20 MW distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on rooftops of public sector buildings in Karachi and Hyderabad at a cost of $25 million and developing 200,000 solar home systems to supply electricity to remote areas in 10 districts of the province through solar parks, at a cost of $30 million. The 200,000 solar home systems will be employed to supply electricity to as many houses in areas falling outside grid zones.

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Shaikh informed the CM that agreements for the implementation of all three components of the project have been signed in accordance with WB guidelines. The CM directed the energy minister to sign an agreement with a private firm, particularly for the purpose of running the operations of and maintaining the solar park through which electricity will be supplied to 200,000 households.

The energy minister further apprised the CM that a transactional adviser will carry out competitive bidding for the project. Also, a survey will be conducted to identify government buildings and prepare bills of quantities for the installation of solar panels on rooftops, he said. Shaikh added that a separate survey will be carried out in districts where electricity is to be supplied via a solar park, particularly to gauge the energy consumption in areas falling in off-grid and on-grid zones.

Addressing the signing ceremony, the CM remarked that the Sindh government will be able to save up to Rs500 million in electricity bills after the completion of the project. 

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2019.


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