Slow progress: Alternate energy projects in Sindh generating just 6mw electricity

Karachi: Alternate Energy projects in Sindh province so far are adding just 6 megawatt electricity to the system and hopefully 30000wm electricity would be generated by the end of 2013, said Sindh Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Shaikh Muhammad Afzal.

Answering the question of members in the question hour of Sindh assembly here Thursday, he said presently there are 32 wind power generation companies in the private sector, with their projects at various stages of completion.

Explaining the delay in production of alternate energy in Sindh, he said the lands were allotted in \Sindh to investor to set up alternate energy projects, but the investor did not set up them. In February 2011 the land allocated to the investors through the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) was cancelled as none of the projects were completed within their stipulated schedule.

He said later the cancelled allotments were reviewed on to case to case basis after tasking additional bank guarantees and undertakings to complete these projects by the end of 2013. He said now the progress is being monitored; however, in case the projects were again not established within the time-schedule the allotted lands would be withdrawn.

When asked that no environmental impact assessment (EIA) was made regarding the Engro Coal Power Project, he said an EIA report was submitted by the company to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sindh on December 4, 2012. He said a public hearing was held on November 12, 2010 at Islamkot. Subsequently, assessment by technical experts is now being taken up.

To another question, he said a project of generation of 50mw electric power through solar energy in upper Sindh was proposed in the year 2009. However, he said a feasibility study is being conducted through the Annual Development Program of the year 2012 and after competition of the study actual project could be formulated.

He told the house that through AEDB and the government of Sindh as many as 32 wind projects have been taken up by the private investors in Thatta and Jamshoro districts to produce about 2000-2500mw electricity. He said Sindh Board of Investment and Sindh Board of Revenue are spearheading these projects and his department was not involved in them.

Shaikh Afzal said through an ADP scheme titled ‘supply of solar stoves in rural areas of Sindh, solar stoves/cookers will be distributed in the rural areas of the province, which would ensure conservation of forests vital for ecosystems, especially saving endangered species like mangroves. He said this project would also reduce vulnerability to waterborne diseases, as boiled water would be available to villagers free of cost.