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Taking advantage of the natural resource at their disposal, industries in Pakistan are switching towards solar to meet energy needs with another two listed companies – Citi Pharma and Synthetic Products Enterprises Limited – announcing plans to expand renewable footprint.

On Wednesday, Citi Pharma, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies, informed its stakeholders in a notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) that the company intends to transition from traditional energy sources to solar power.

“In our continuous commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and embracing cleaner energy alternatives, we have made the decision to harness the power of the sun to fuel our operations,” Citi Pharma said in a statement.

Govt’s balancing act: incentivise solar, but not too much?

The company shared the transition to solar energy will be executed in phases to ensure a smooth and seamless integration into our operations.

“We are partnering with reputable solar energy providers and experts to design and install state-of-the-art solar panels and infrastructure tailored to our specific needs,” the pharmaceutical company shared.

“Embracing solar power not only benefits the environment but also makes economic sense. Solar energy offers cost savings compared to traditional energy sources and we anticipate annual savings exceeding Rs100 million,” it added.

Synthetic Products Enterprises Limited (SPEL), in a separate notice to the stock exchange, said that it has successfully installed over 1.3 MW solar power project.

“We are pleased to announce a significant milestone in our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiative,” SPEL, a manufacturer of plastic auto parts, plastic packaging for food and FMCG said.

“SPEL has successfully installed over 1.3 MW solar power project, complementing our previously installed 1.25 MW of green energy. This expansion brings our total solar capacity to meet approximately 20% of our annual electricity requirements through clean, green renewable energy,” SPEL said in its notice.

Pakistan has been actively working to increase its solar energy capacity to address energy issues and reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuels.

Several projects have been initiated to harness this potential.

For example, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur, one of the largest solar power plants in the world, has been developed with Chinese assistance, which has added hundreds of megawatts to Pakistan’s solar energy capacity.

Last month, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Limited (GATM), one of the country’s largest textile mills, announced that it will install a 17.1MW roof-top solar plant.

Meanwhile, several cement manufacturing firms in the country have also resorted to generating electricity through solar energy.

In August last year, Lucky Cement, one of Pakistan’s largest cement manufacturer, announced the successful commissioning of its 25MW captive solar power plant located in Karachi.

Similarly, DG Khan Cement Company Limited (DGKC), in March last year, successfully installed a 7MW on-grid solar power plant at its site in Khairpur.

The moves come as industrial and commercial power tariff has seen a massive increase over the last couple of years.

Higher energy prices triggered mass protests across Pakistan last year and have also stifled energy demand with policymakers scratching their heads on how to move forward for the sector’s viability.

Pakistan pursued an aggressive policy to add power capacity, but years of slow economic growth, power theft, and under-investment in transmission and distribution networks have meant that bill recovery has not been at par.

With runaway inflation triggering record high interest rates, demand for energy has reduced further, leaving Islamabad in a ‘catch-22’ situation.

In its staff report at the conclusion of the $3-billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also urged “strong cost-side reforms” for restoring the viability of Pakistan’s energy sector, highlighting also the need to revisit, where feasible, terms of power purchase agreements as part of the agenda.

However, the government – while encouraging transition to solar power – is also looking to reduce buyback rates of the renewable source of energy, it was reported earlier by Business Recorder.

Comments

200 characters
KU May 15, 2024 04:38pm
Just wait n see the reaction of the power-thieves when they impose some tax/duty on all solar/wind equipment to save the IPPs and themselves, and even declare solar energy as anti-state activity.
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Maqbool May 15, 2024 05:30pm
On one hand publicly saying they are encouraging Solar, and then at the back stopping or reducing Net Metering . As usual our citizens will suffer and ‘Foreign Investors’ above the local Laws
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