IFC pledges $238m for wind power in Sindh
By Our Staff Reporter | 5/13/2017 12:00:00 AM
KARACHI: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, will provide $66 million and mobilise further $172m to build the largest wind farm in Sindh, according to a handout issued by the IFC on Friday.

The IFC will provide these funds in a landmark transaction to help build Pakistan`s largest wind power farm.

The financing to Triconboston Consulting Corporation will help construct and operate three 50-megawatt wind farms. Triconboston is majorityowned by the Sapphire Group, a leading Pakistani industrial group, with significant interests in textile and power.

The project is part of the IFC`s broader efforts to foster private participation in Pakistan`s power sector to increase investments, help diversify energy sources, cut the cost of electricity and reduce the use of polluting and expensive fossil fuels.

Pakistan suffers from frequent powercuts that cost the country an estimated two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) every year.

`The new wind farm will generate reliable, clean energy at lower prices and help reduce pressure on the country`s power grid while mitigating climate change, said Triconboston CEO Nadeem Abdullah.

Sapphire already commissioned its first 52.8MW wind farm in 2015.

This is the first time in Pakistan that a portfolio of three separate plants will be internationally financed by a single consortium, bringing further innovation to Pakistan`s project finance market.

The plant is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of 2018 and will make its greatest contributions during the high-demand summer months, providing clean power to about 600,000 residential customers.

`The IFC has been at the forefront of investing and mobilising financing to support private sector participation in Pakistan`s power sector,` said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC`s director for the Middle East and North Africa region. `This is our fifth investment in wind power in the last three years in Pakistan. The project will also support Sapphire in their diversification strategy in renewables.

The development of wind power contributes to the diversification of Pakistan`s energy generation mix by increasing capacity with shorter lead times and also helping to reduce electricity prices.

The work is part of the World Bank Group`s Pakistan Transformational Energy Initiative and Joint Implementation Plan, which aims to mobilise $10 billion in new generation investments to address the country`s acute power shortage and improve sector sustainability.

Pakistan represents IFC`s secondlargest engagement in the Middle East and North Africa region, with over $5.6bn in cumulative investments committed to date.