Following 10 year delay, Pak-Iran Wind Project to get Licence
KARACHI: The long-delayed Iran-Pak Wind Power project is expected to be completed in October 2017 as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has accepted the application for consideration of granting licence to the company.
In 2006, one of the largest Water & Power Company of Iran, Sunir Co had shown interest in setting up a 50 MW Wind Farm in Pakistan on joint venture basis, however the project halted due to the Sindh government’s incompetence and apathy. The investment opportunity worth of $113 million remained ineffectual for 10 years.
The company in its application to NEPRA mentioned that project would have the generation capacity of 49.5 MW which would be initiated in Jimphir, District Thatta, Sindh. The project is expected to start generation in October 2017 while the total cost of project is estimated at $112.8 million in which $84.6 million will be generated through debt and $28.2 will be generated through equity investment.
Sunir Co and Pakistani Consortium signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February 2006 and together they approached Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) for the issuance of Letter of Intent (LoI) for 50 MW Wind Farm which was issued in 2006.
Meanwhile, a follow up MoU was signed during the visit of Iranian Energy Minister Enginner Parviz Fattah and as a result a special purpose vehicle Iran Pak Wind Power Pvt Ltd was established in December 2009 for carrying out the project.
The AEDB failed to facilitate the sponsors for leasing out land for the project upon its availability from Government of Sindh and with the passage of time the AEDB could not provide the land to the sponsors till 2010. Thus, the sponsor utilizing its right to proceed for the acquisition of its own land had approached the Government Sindh for allocation of land for its 50 MW project.
In April 2010, the Iran Pak Power Pvt Limited signed a MOU with Sindh Board of Investment after which survey was carried out and availability of land was confirmed in the location in which it was desired.
In February 2011, the Sindh Government allotted the requisite land to the sponsors; but the right of way and possession was not given to sponsors until Oct 2013.
According to NEPRA, there were many reasons for this delay including the main reason was a Rs 21 sq yd rent was being charged in the original allotment letter; which was against the spirit of the announced policy and its removal also caused delays, on more than three occasions the Sindh local bodies system was changed between the Commissioner ate and LG system; which caused considerable delay in completing the paperwork. In May 2012, the Sindh Government also changed the land allotment policy to footprint policy; which again was against the spirit of announced incentive; therefore this also caused considerable delays. After many amendments including change of time period for completion of wind power projects from 2 to 5 years, removal of Rs 2 per sq yd rent on land, change in benchmarks of timeline from date of allotment to date of possession the sponsors were granted right of way and possession of land to carry out the data collection work by Sindh Government finally in October 2013.