ISLAMABAD: The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) has approved the issuance of tripartite letter of support (LoS) to two small hydropower projects in Azad Kashmir.
The PPIB in a meeting on Monday approved 7.08MW hydropower project located at Ghori Wala Nullah in Neelum Valley and 8MW Kathai-II hydropower project at Kathai Nullah, Jhelum Valley in Hattian under the ‘Power Generation Policy 2015’.
The approval of two plants in the valley will pave a way forward for many other similar small hydropower projects and enhance confidence of investors in developing small to medium-size such plants in provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan, chairing the meeting, said that “our dream is to ensure affordability in arranging future capacity additions for which hydro, solar, wind and coal assets are particularly vital which are abundantly available across the country and enough to provide round-the-clock power supply for a long time.”.
PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the meeting on various ongoing power generation projects currently being processed. The meeting was informed on various issues being encountered by upcoming independent power producers (IPPs) require the board’s approval so that they are able to proceed swiftly.
In order to facilitate sponsors in the implementation of Thar coal-based power generation projects, the board, after detailed deliberations agreed to allow six months extension in financial closing date of 1,320MW Thar coal-based project being developed by Thar Coal Block-1 Power Generation Company (Shanghai Electric Ltd.).
The board further decided to encourage the Thar coal-based power projects which are crucial in meeting the future energy requirements of country and also save millions of dollars of foreign exchange annually.
It would generate economic activity and create employment opportunities for the local population.
While considering bottlenecks in the development of Thar coal-based power projects, especially with regards to the availability of cooling water, the board decided that every possible support from the federal government would be extended to Sindh for timely supply of water to these projects so as their committed CODs may not be delayed and also emphasised on the provincial government to expedite the completion of water supply infrastructure on fast-track basis.
The board also allowed extension in financial closing of 1,263MW RLNG-based power generation project near Trimmu Barrage in Jhang district.
Khan stressed on the government’s commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has given major relief to the local power sector. “We are committed to prioritise this initiative and in this regard, the investors are being facilitated to meet various timelines including commercial operation dates specified under the framework of CPEC,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2019