Punjab

Punjab on track to host Pakistan’s largest windfarm

LAHORE: Government of Punjab has embarked upon a plan to host the largest wind energy project in Pakistan.

According to a press release by Embassy of Denmark, the Punjab Government, in collaboration with Vestas Wind Systems, aims to add 1,000 megawatt wind-based electricity into its grid, and today issued a Letter of Interest (LOI) to Vestas regarding the first 250 MW stage of the proposed Quaid e Azam Wind Park in the south-west of the province.

“Pakistan is facing a critical energy shortage, and the Punjab Government is keen on exploring avenues within renewable energy to improve its power supply. The potential for 4 x 250 MW indigenous wind power projects in Southwestern Punjab were identified by Vestas in late 2014 using the industry-leading Site Hunt technology”, the release stated.

It was also stated in the press release that the Government of Punjab and Vestas signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2015. As part of the MoU, Vestas with the support of the Danish Embassy, will work with the Government of Punjab to facilitate securing approximately 2.2 Billion USD of investment for these projects.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Ambassador Jesper Moller Sorensen, Political Director for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark and Gerard Carew, Vice President Sales, Pan-Asia region, Vestas, along with other senior officials of the Embassy of Denmark were present in the ceremony.

Sorensen, who served as Ambassador to Pakistan in 2013-2015 and introduced Vestas to CM Sharif during his tenure, explained that Pakistan is emerging as an interesting market for Danish companies, especially in the energy sector.

“Pakistan is increasingly moving toward renewable energy solutions, where Danish companies are particularly strong. Denmark has long been a pioneer of wind energy, and Vestas is today a global frontrunner”, he said.

“I would like to congratulate both Vestas and the Punjab Government for taking their cooperation so far in such a limited time span. It has only been 1 1/2 years, since we presented the Government of Punjab to Vestas’ technical expertise. I have no doubt that this project will contribute greatly to overcoming Punjab’s energy shortage. As this project unfolds, the Government of Denmark stands ready to support the Punjab Government with building further capacity and expertise in the field of renewable energy”, he added.

It was stated in the release that the Danish government plans to engage with the relevant government stakeholders in Pakistan to transfer Danish experiences in the areas of wind policy, technical integration of wind, and financing.

Gerard Carew briefed the participants about the project. He said that Vestas is committed to growth in emerging markets with Pakistan a key focus in the Asia Pacific region.

“We are delighted to have reached this next important milestone in our collaboration with the Government of Punjab. Through our industry leading Site Hunt technology, Vestas identified opportunities for wind energy in Punjab previously not considered, and in a very short space of time by industry standards. We thank the Chief Minister and his Government for the support, co-operation, and progress made under our MoU thus far. We now look forward to completing the detailed project feasibility studies and working with interested stakeholders to secure equity and debt financing, confirm orders, and eventually begin construction of these exciting projects” Carew said.

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