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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Renewable Energy Forum (PFREF) has approached Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir for resolution of long pending issue of 13 wind and solar projects of 600 MWp with an investment of $ 600 million.

In a letter to the COAS, President of (PFREF), Mustafa Abdulla has praised Gen Asim for his untiring efforts to remove bureaucratic hurdles to bring Pakistan back to new heights economically and financially.

The Executive Committee (EC) of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has constituted an inter-ministerial panel to holistically review the issues of Category-III wind and solar PV projects including 13 at an advanced stage and other pending LoIs.

600MW projects offered: Govt unveils solar PV projects policy

Category-III projects are those projects that did not acquire tariff/generation licence from Nepra till the date of CCoE decisions of February 27, 2019 and which are to be processed through competitive bidding by erstwhile Alternative Energy Development Board based on IGCEP outputs and confirmation of Interconnection Ready Zones (IRZs) by NTDCL. IGCEP 2022 allows addition of 500-MW wind and 3,120-MW solar for the year 2025.

The sources said category-III includes 31 wind projects of 2,139-MW and 69 solar PV projects of 4,193-MW. Out of 31 wind and 69 solar projects, a total of 22 wind and 28 solar projects with land are falling under IRZs.

“We just like to remind you that bureaucracy is still taking decisions in SIFC, which is supposedly “bureaucratic free” organization,” said Mustafa Abdulla, in his letter to COAS.

The Forum’s 13 wind and solar projects were studied carefully by the SIFC lower tier, staffed with competent servings Colonels of Pakistan Army and was forwarded to SIFC Apex Committee for approval. However, the bureaucracy was able to “distract” its approval and sent it back for “further studies.

“Our projects have requisite approvals of LoI, land, feasibility, NTDC/CPPA-G grid, NEPRA generation licence and NEPRA Tariffs (in August20). Our projects were also approved by a 7-member ministerial committee appointed by ex-PM Shahbaz Sharif in July 2022. However even though summary for approval of thirteen wind and solar projects was ready for Cabinet approval but bureaucracy thwarted former Prime Minister’s efforts,” he wrote.

The Forum has requested COAS to intervene directly to approve project’s low tariff Rs.12/kWh electricity projects in larger interest of Pakistan with $ 600 million FDI ready for investment.

Mustafa Abdulla further stated that Pakistan is suffering because of imported coal and LNG based electricity generation at a price of Rs.40/kWh, adding that cheap wind solar electricity will lower down the “basket prices and give relief to people and local Industries.”

The committee made following recommendations: (i) category-III wind and solar PV projects be allowed to proceed ahead upon acceptance of an upfront tariff to be announced by Nepra; (ii) AEDB, now the PPIB, to declare financial closing on first come first serve basis for a total capacity of 50- MW for wind and 2,500-MW for solar projects; (iii) sponsors would be required to submit Performance Guarantee of $ 10,000 per MW for issuance of Letter of Support (LoS) to ensure the commitments for financial closing by serious players; (iv) approval of CCI be obtained for processing of category-III projects on upfront tariff as both ARE Policy 2019 and National Electricity Policy (NEP) 2021 allow competitive bidding only; and (v) all future solar and wind projects will be developed through ICB to be carried out by PPIB or Discos as per approved schemes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

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Love Your Country Jan 04, 2024 09:48am
How are we get rid of this mindset?
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KU Jan 04, 2024 10:11am
Tragic, especially when investors are available and committed to contributing to a flagging energy requirement. Our part of the region is producing solar and wind energy to the tune of 100k to 200k GWh, while we are stuck in the hands of gratification Baboos, it's criminal.
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Usman Jan 04, 2024 11:05am
Its time that we start a movement against bureaucrats.so we can fix them once for all.
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TimetoMoVVeOn Jan 04, 2024 11:52am
So the COAS has a new portfolio in addition to the Foreign Ministry, Economic Ministry, defense ministry..... he is now the environmental minister too! LOL
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TimetoMoVVeOn Jan 04, 2024 11:54am
@Usman, Great Usman this is exactly the kind of reaction that the Pak Army wants from the layman. You took the trap. They don't allow the govt to function independently, and succeed, so that the people's attention is towards the army and anger towards the govt.
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Charlie Jan 04, 2024 12:24pm
Although good suggestions, but this will lead to cartelization of renewable too. Rather than few oversized ego people deciding everything a policy shift is required.
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Haq Jan 04, 2024 03:19pm
Total power generation capacity is 45,000 MW (61% thermal, 24% hydel, 12% nuclear & 3% renewable), whereas peak summer demand is 35,000 MW & transmission capacity is even lower, with hefty losses (inefficient system & theft). Honest consumers are already paying exorbitant bills due to (excess) capacity payments & US$ payments. Some of the plants (influentials) got paid without generating single watt of electricity. We need to fix this pro-elite (rotten) legacy post-colonial system & deliver benefits to masses. Additional power generation via renewable / biofuels should be directly supplied to agricultural, food processing, industrial & poor people
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Shahbaz Jan 04, 2024 07:44pm
Apex panel Council Committee Too mouthful. Utterly beaucractic SIFC (an unconstitutional adventure)
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Muhammad Shahid Jan 05, 2024 01:22am
Job
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Twain pen di Jan 05, 2024 05:02pm
There are some things money can't buy; for everything else, there's army chief.
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M Moaz Jan 06, 2024 12:09pm
Army Chief or Business Manager?
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