World's Largest Solar Power Project in Bahawalpur
ISLAMABAD: The world’s largest solar power project of 900 megawatts will be launched in Pakistan with an investment of $1.5 billion by Chinese company Zonergy Limited.
Talking to a group of journalists, Zonergy President Yu Yong revealed that the project would be developed with cutting-edge technology and equipment would come from renowned manufacturers of Europe and China.
The project will be constructed in three phases and is expected to connect to the national grid by the end of 2016. It will be financed by Chinese financial institutions.
Initially, 50MW will be added to the national grid by the end of August this year and then another 250MW will be produced by the end of December. Thereafter, 100MW will be added to the national grid every month.
The project will be located at the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur covering an area of 4,500 acres. It is expected to generate 1.271 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity annually, greatly easing power shortages in Punjab and neighbouring areas.
It will also promote local economic development and improve people’s livelihood. At least, 3,300 jobs will be created.
The solar power station, when completed, will save 394,000 tons of standard coal and reduce 826,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. It will become a “solar oasis” in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme and inject new energy into the deepening friendship between the two countries.
Zonergy President Yu said the project had great economic and political significance as it had been listed among the Early Harvest Projects in the CPEC roadmap.
“The construction of this largest solar power project raises high level of requirement of capital, technology and management for Zonergy. With management advantages and international project development experiences, Zonergy is confident to build this project to be an exemplary one among CPEC projects and a new highlight in the China-Pakistan friendship.”
He stressed that the efficiency of government departments in Pakistan had improved and praised the political leadership for extending full cooperation in executing the project.
Responding to a question, Yu said ZTE was not the only investor in Zonergy, but it was the main shareholder. The company’s business was to establish solar power plants and undertake their maintenance, he added.
Regarding the task of linking solar power with the national grid, he said Chinese and Pakistani engineers would do this job collectively as connecting the solar and traditional electrical systems required highly technical experts.
Solar power production is not the only business of the company but certainly it is a major pillar.
Chinese banks had voiced concern over the high cost of maintenance of the solar power plant, but in the end they agreed to invest, he said.
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