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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed Finance Division and Power Division to frame policy to attract private sector investment in renewable energy including solar projects ensuring due payment to the investor/ project sponsor not later than 60 days from submission of the payment invoice, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

He gave these instructions while presiding over a meeting of National Task Force on Solar Energy Initiatives held on August 10, 2022.

Prime minister will be given a presentation by the “headless” Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on the upcoming power generation projects to be commissioned by 2023.

According to sources, following timelines presented for competitive bidding for solar PV projects were approved with the direction that wherever possible tasks should be fast-tracked while complying with prescribed procedure(s) and fulfilment of codal formalities: (i) receipt of reference from CPPA/ DISCO/ CDA- 2nd week of August, 2022;(ii) procurement of land for project- 3rd week of September, 2022;(iii) development of RFP and security documents for competitive bidding- 3rd week of August, 2022;(iv) determination of benchmark tariff and approval of RFP packages- 2nd week of September, 2022; and (v) publication of RFP documents/ floating of bid-September 30, 2022.

The sources said Finance Division, Power Division/ NTDC have been directed to arrange funds of Rs 1.5 billion for procurement of land for the project after approval of PC-1 from the competent forum on fast-track basis.

PM-led body to unveil solar policy on Aug 1

Power Division has been directed to prepare comparative statement and analysis Fuel Price Adjustments (EPA) from April 2022 onwards in comparison to the corresponding months of the last two years for presentation to the Prime Minister.

Dr Jehanzeb Khan, SAPM on Effective Governance, will conduct a meeting with stakeholders and suggest a way forward in the following five priority solarization initiative: (i) solarization of agriculture tube-wells of all provinces with priority for Balochistan;(ii) solarization of government buildings along with financial model for implementation on it in a phased manner;(iii) solarization of new buildings may be made mandatory through tax incentives and penalties in case of default; and (v) provision of solar solutions for consumers with monthly power consumption up to 100 units.

Power Division has also been directed to prepare a brief and presentation on wheeling policy for submission to the Prime Minister.

Possibility of providing solar power to village/ communities that are either off-grid or located at places with minimal power availability through village cooperatives will be explored and way forward presented to the Prime Minister within a week.

The government had announced last month that new solar policy will be unveiled on August 1, 2022, which has not yet been made public despite the fact that general public and industry/ investors are waiting for it.

The companies of several countries have also shown interest in investing in renewable energy projects especially solar projects in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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