ISLAMABAD: The Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) has asked Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) of Power Division to expedite issuance of Tripartite Letter of Support (LoS) to Turkish Company, M/s Zorlu.

According to Managing Director PPDB, Letter of Interest (LoI) was issued, after due process by the PPDB to M/s Zorlu Solar Pakistan Pvt. Ltd (ZSPL), Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company of M/s Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim A.S, for development of 100-MW solar power project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Lal Sohana, Bahawalpur on January 17, 2017, which is still valid.

PPDB is of the view that in view of the ZSPL’s request of June 12, 2023 for issue of Tripartite Letter of Support (T-LoS) by AEDB/ PPDB, the process of issuance of T-LoS be expedited at the earliest so that the company may achieve next project milestones on time.

Lesco tops the list: Zorlu eyes stakes in Discos

Recently, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, during his visit to Turkey, met senior management of M/s Zorlu and invited the company to explore further investment opportunities in Pakistan, and to consider participating in the bidding process to install 600-MW solar project.

According to sources, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sinan AK informed the Prime Minister that the company is seeking financial closure for 100-MW plant in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in the next two months. He also expressed Zorlu’s interest in investing in Discos, especially in Lahore.

In August last year, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had shown ‘special kindness’ to Turkish company M/s Zorlu Solar Pakistan Limited (ZSPL) by approving 13 percent Return on Equity (RoE), after intervention of the Prime Minister, who had apologized publicly to the Turkish companies for mistreatment in the past. Turkish company had complained of ill-treatment during the PTI government including from National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The petitioner had submitted that while considering Pakistan’s 10-year government bonds as risk-free rate, 14% RoE is already on the lower side. Additionally, the petitioner during the hearing emphasized that the indexation of RoE due to change in exchange rates, be allowed on quarterly basis as against on annual basis, as approved by the Authority in the tariff case of Siachen Energy.

ZSPL said that with annual indexation, the company shall be exposed to the risk of PKR devaluation for one year, which actually decreases the RoE to the level below 10 (considering 20% devaluation).

Additionally, if the factor of delayed payments by CPPA-G is considered, then the RoE reduced to 7-8%. ZSPL stated that this arrangement shall not be acceptable to the lenders and resultantly the project shall not remain bankable.

According to determination, the Authority noted that in two most comparable cases of renewable technologies, the RoE of 12% has been approved by the Nepra.

The regulator said that approved RoE component was allowed adjustment, due to change in exchange rate on annual basis.

The Authority argued that the RoE of 12% along with yearly indexation thereon, as approved in the recent tariff cases, be also allowed in the tariff case of Zorlu. However, the Authority considered the submissions of the petitioner and argued that given the significant PKR devaluation, especially in the last couple of years, the yearly indexation would have a negative impact on the approved RoE.

To neutralize the impact thereof, the Authority had decided to approve RoE for ZSPL at 13%, while maintaining the annual indexation on this tariff component due to change in exchange rates.

The mechanism of the said adjustment is given in the Order part of this determination. In addition, 20% of the approved EPC cost is being allowed in terms of PKR (@ Rs. 200/USD), and shall be adjusted at lower or equal to the corresponding approved PKR amount.

At the time of COD, the USD amount for this portion of the EPC cost shall be re-computed, on the exchange rates prevailing on the respective payment dates during the approved construction period. The adjusted amount, in terms of USD, shall not exceed beyond the USD amount computed at Rs. 200/USD.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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