KARACHI    -    The Sindh Solar Energy Project, which is being executed with the assistance of the World Bank, will be helpful in achieving the goal of 100 percent electrification of the province with most affordable price of electricity for consumers.

Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh stated this while speaking as chief guest at a consultative session held on the Sindh Solar Energy Project (SEEP) of the provincial Energy Department.

The SEEP is a $100 million World Bank-funded project having three components: installing solar systems on rooftops on all government buildings in Karachi Hyderabad; deploying solar home systems in rural households of the province (200,000  in Phase-I) through off-grid method; installing a utility-scale solar power system in the province of 400 Megawatts.

While speaking on the occasion, the provincial Energy minister said that the upcoming project would benefit every Pakistani in terms of decreased basket price of electricity being available to the electricity consumers.

He said that Solar Energy Project was conceived by the Sindh government to utilize maximum potential of the province to produce electricity through renewable means of energy abundantly available in Sindh.

He said that Sindh government in a coming few days would formally sign the contract agreements with the firms to initiate House hold Energy survey and Roof top building surveys at a ceremony to be held at the Chief Minister House. Mr. Shaikh expressed gratitude to the President of Pakistan for completing the formation of Executive Committee of National Economic Council so to get the necessary approval at the federal level for the SSEP.

He said that Sindh Government was fully committed to this project under its resolve to use both conventional and alternative resources of energy available in the province to generate inexpensive electricity.

He said that earlier Sindh government had participated in the project to extract for the first time coal reserves in Thar for massive electricity generation as first such project of 660 Megawatts had become functional in the current year.

The provincial minister said that the Sindh government fully believed in massive potential of coal reserves of Thar having the power to change destiny of the entire Pakistan. He said that Sindh government was fully facilitating installation of new wind energy project in the Jhimpir wind corridor as recently 12 such projects had recently signed Energy purchase agreements with the National Transmission and Dispatch Company.

The Energy Minister said that recently the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority had awarded the license to Sindh Transmission and Despatch Company to act as the country’s first ever provincial grid company.

He said that once the fresh license had been awarded to the STDC, it would lay its own transmission lines and construct grid stations for evacuation of electricity from the upcoming renewable projects to be installed in the province.

Also speaking on the occasion, Sindh Energy Secretary Musaddiq Ahmed Khan said that the provincial government had always been the strong advocate of using renewable resources of energy for clean production of electricity. He said that the project in question had the potential of 500 to 700 MWs electricity production through distributed generation system.

He said that Sindh government would make every effort that the equipment to be used to do the Solar Energy Project would meet the international standards and specifications specified for such projects.

Oliver Knight, Senior Energy Specialist of the World Bank, said that pilot project to solarize homes through off-grid system would initially be implemented in ten districts of the province and later on this initiative would also be introduced in other towns of the province. He said that the World Bank had accorded approval to the project.

He said that a proper survey would be conducted to carefully select the government buildings in Karachi and Hyderabad to install solar systems on their rooftops.

He said that 20 MWs of renewable electricity would be produced through the distributed generation system by installing solar systems on rooftops of the government buildings in two main cities of the province as these systems would be tied to the national grid.

Mehfooz Qazi, the Project Director SEEP, said that project would be implemented in five years’ time for which consultants had been selected for all its three components. All the three components of the project has be initiated simultaneously.