ISLAMABAD: Proparco – the private sector arm of the French Development Agency (AFD) – is investing $20 million to support a new wind farm in Sindh, part of efforts to support renewable power generation and drive economic development across Pakistan.
Proparco’s investment in Gul Ahmed Wind Power, an independent power producer, will help the company build and operate the 50-megawatt facility northeast of Karachi.
The project is expected to bolster electricity supplies in Pakistan, where frequent power cuts hamper social and economic development, and cost the country the equivalent of 2% of gross domestic product. An approximate 130 gigawatts-hour per year is expected to be added to the national grid.
The new plant will create jobs (more than 500 during the construction phase and 50 on a long term basis) and help spur growth. The plant will make its greatest contributions during the high-demand summer months, when wind farms generate most of their electricity. It will provide an environmentally-friendly source of power, helping Pakistan cut back on the use of polluting and expensive fossil fuels by reducing the carbon footprint of the country by an approximate 60,000 tons of CO2-equivalent per year.
Proparco Chief Executive Officer Claude Périou welcomed the joint operation with the Infraco Asia, International Finance Corporation and local Pakistani banks, which was fully in line with AFD group’s strategy against climate change. “This project will contribute not only to reducing pressure on the country’s power grid, but also encourage the development of strong, reliable and clean energy in the region. It is the third investment of Proparco in the energy sector in Pakistan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2015.
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