Pakistan pilot projects with aid -- Two times 20 MW

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The stage is being set for commercialisation of wind power in Pakistan with feasibility studies and site selection for the country's first wind farm on the Balochistan coast. The activity follows the signing in November of a co-operation deal between the Pakistan government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Funding for the initial stages of the project is coming from the Global Environment Facility, a division of the World Bank, and from a Nordic fund for renewable energy. This fund will provide the $40 million investment for the project in collaboration with Pakistan's Golden Valley Company, a conglomerate with interests ranging from railway lines and aircraft assembly to finance and import-export. It is also launching an airline, Burraq International.

Installation of 50 wind turbines along the coast of Balochistan and Sindh is expected to start soon. The towers are being manufactured in Karachi by Pakistan Steel Mills and the blades by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex of Kamra, with a clause for transfer of technology. According to Pakistan television, two pilot wind farms of 20 MW each will go up at Pasni, Hawkesbay, and at Keti Bander. They are to be built on Build-Own-Operate contracts from the two state utilities, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Karachi Electricity Supply Corp (KESC).

Pakistan has a long coastline with prevailing westerly winds. It is suffering an acute water shortage, which has hit hydro electric supplies. Electricity demand far exceeds supply from the existing 16,000 MW of plant. With a population of 142 million growing at 2.2% and the economy growing at 4.5%, demand for power is rising. There are no detailed surveys of Pakistan's wind potential. WAPDA supplies power to all of Pakistan except the metropolitan city of Karachi, which is supplied by KESC. There is one 137 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Karachi and more than 4000 MW of capacity run by private power producers.

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