KARACHI - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday formally inaugurated Pakistans first wind power project at Jhampir in Thatta district, which will have the generating capacity of 50 megawatt. Turkish company Zorlu Energy Wind Power Project has executed the project in Pakistan. He said that the government had created an Alternative Energy Fund (AEF), which would exploit alternative energy technologies in the country. He said that AEF would be utilised for projects that require financial support to become viable in the renewable energy sector. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Secretary Water and Power, CEO AEDB were present on the occasion. Gilani said that Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), with the support of all public and private stakeholders, had prepared a mid-term renewable energy policy document which focused on creating an environment for power generation through renewable energy means in the country. He added that the cabinet would approve the policy. Recalling the past glory of the area, he said Thatta had remained a centre of education and learning and a meeting point of civilisation. With the inauguration of the wind power project, the area was re-emerging in a new role of a powerhouse for the development of the entire region, he added. Launching the project, he said that 60km-long and 170km deep corridor alone had the potential to generate over 50,000MW of electricity. The project would be opening up a new era in Pakistan and era with the development of green and economical indigenous energy resources. The government always wanted to reduce dependence on imported oil and control environmental pollution and was committed to tapping the indigenous resources as a strategy to meet the growing energy needs. The Zorlu Power Project was also the manifestation of the historical brotherly and friendly ties between the people of Pakistan and Turkey. The project would further strengthen the cordial relationship between the two countries, he added. The PM said that the issue of energy security had suddenly jumped to the forefront of all nations and everyone was now focusing on the development of their indigenous energy resources. He exhorted the need for developing a local base of alternative energy sources on fast track basis in the country as this source alone has the potential to ensure energy security. Gilani said that Pakistan had been blessed with immense alternative and renewable energy resources including sun, wind, sea, and vast tracts of land capable of producing any kind of crop. All these are potential and inexhaustible sources of energy, and even the wastes are no more waste today as waste can now be converted into energy. He said the most promising and economical source amongst them was wind energy. What we require is to devise and implement a concerted plan of action to tap these resources on a fast track basis, he added. He said the Ministry of Water and Power was moving in a right direction to realise these targets. I am proud to relate that apart from Zorlu Wind Farm, 24 other wind farm projects, with a cumulative capacity of 1,200MW, are under various stages of implementation which are expected to be completed in near future, he added. Gilani also appreciated the plan of Zorlu Energy Group to expand this project to 250 mega watts. This will also send a very strong signal to the international community that Pakistan offers great opportunities to do business and investment, he added. He was confident that with the support of friends like Turkey and China, the renewable energy market of Pakistan would continue to flourish and compete with other emerging markets in the world as well. Online adds: Prime Minister Gilani has said that the challenges being faced by Pakistan in energy sector are also hampering countrys economy, adding that Pakistan would have to take benefit of the alternate energy sources in existing situation.