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ISLAMABAD: The government is likely to reactivate the defunct National Solar Power Development Company (Pvt) Ltd (NSPDCL) for development of solar power projects in public sector, well informed sources in Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) told Business Recorder.

The government has already announced to add 10,000-MWs electricity from solar in the national grid aimed at reducing cost of generation and reliance on imported fuel-based electricity.

Energy Task Force headed by former Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has already submitted its recommendations to the government, which have been cleared by the Prime Minister.

Sharing the details, sources said present government has taken number of initiatives to diversify energy mix and bring down cost of generation through substitution of expensive fuels. One such initiative is injection of around 6000 MW solar power in the system. Most of these plants shall be established in the private sector. However, during a meeting of the Task Force on solarization held on September 29, 2002, Prime Minister directed that Power Division should take lead to put up solar power plant in the public sector as well, on the analogy of RLNG plants.

600MW projects offered: Govt unveils solar PV projects policy

According to sources, to give effect to the directions of Prime Minister there was a need to have a special purpose company to spearhead the exercise including preparation of PC-l and bidding documents and execution of the project.

Power Division incorporated ‘National solar Power Development Company (Pvt.) Limited back in 2015 with the intention to promote solar power. However, since then the company remained inactive as solar power was primarily developed in the private sector.

The government maintains that to execute the project in public sector, the company needs to be activated.

The sources said, at the time of incorporation in 2015, Muhammad Younus Dagha, the then Secretary Power, Omer Rasul, Additional Secretary, and Nasir Hassan Nasir Jamy, Additional Secretary were appointed as founding directors of NSPDCL with one share held by each director. For the activation of the company, new board of directors are also required to be appointed.

The sources further stated that the company needs to be made operational on a fast track basis to meet the project execution timelines. For this purpose there is need to provide seed money to the company to initiate various project related activities like engagement of consultant for preliminary groundwork including topographical survey, soil investigation, preparation of feasibility report and the project PC-l and bidding documents. Hiring of office space and few team members shall also be required to kick start the process.

In view of the plan following proposals have been submitted for consideration of Prime Minister: (i) NSPDCL incorporated in 2015 may be activated for execution of solar power projects in public sector; (ii) Managing Director PPIB may be given the charge of CEO of NSPDCL; (iii) NSPDCL may be given seed money of Rs. 500 million as grant for operationalization and the company may also be allowed to open an account with National Bank of Pakistan; and (iv) NSPDCL may be allowed to engage M/s NESPAK, as per revised PPRA Rules of single source basis to initiate project related activities.

The government is also expected to constitute a new Board of Directors of NSPDCL as per the following composition: (i) Secretary Power (ex-officio/ Chairman); (ii) Additional Secretary-II, Power Division (ex-officio); (iii) CEO CPPA-G( ex-officio); and (iv) Managing Director PPIB.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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