Engro To Install First Solar-Wind Hybrid Power Plant In Sindh, Pakistan 

The CEO of Engro Energy has announced that it will set up Pakistan’s first hybrid power plant. Yusuf Siddiqui, the CEO, informed the attendees of the Annual State of Renewables Conference 2022. Engro Energy, a subsidiary of Engro Fertilizers, will contribute to renewable energy production in Pakistan. 

‘We are setting up the first private sector-run power plant outside the government’s ambit. The one-gigawatt hybrid power plant (including thermal) will start producing 500 MW in the first phase by the end of 2024, and the remaining 500 MW will start production in 2025 at Jhimpir, Sindh.’

Siddiqui tried to compare electricity production in Pakistan to economies in the world. In Europe and America, the government and private corporations are responsible. Private companies provide electricity and supply to the private sector, with tax proceeds from the sale to support the government. However, that is not the case in Pakistan. Energy production is solely by the government, with little to zero participation from the private sector. And this has led to an increase in capacity rates and circular debt in the country.

Nevertheless, the government will not decline in electricity production. They are ready to build renewable power plants of 6,000MW, increasing the goal from a previous 2,400MW in Sindh. Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Shah Jahan Mirza mentioned the government’s plan to publicize a solar installation scheme by next month. 

As of July 2022, Pakistan has a total solar and wind capacity of 600 MW and 1985 MW, respectively. While renewable energy holds a 5% share in the energy mix, the government will increase it to 60% by 2030. 

Thermal electricity is a form of energy with a large share of Pakistan’s energy mix. But it comes at exorbitant fuel costs. There is a global economic disruption coupled with fragile fuel supply chains.

Due to these situations, Pakistan cannot continue to rely on imported fuels like coal, diesel, and RLNG, whether in financial or climatic terms. Renewable power plants will harness the full potential of clean energy to provide reliability to Pakistan’s power generation.

In October 2021, Engro Energy collaborated with the Sindh government on the hybrid plant installation. The Memorandum of Understanding stated that Engro would build the photovoltaic and wind park, Sindh Transmission & Dispatch Company (STDC) would set up the transmission network, and the Directorate of Alternate Energy (DAE) would provide the land for the project. 

During the signing, the President of Engro Corporation, Ghias Khan, stated the benefits of the project.

‘Engro has always maintained that we aim to solve some of the most pressing issues of Pakistan and our communities. The construction of this renewable energy park is a testament to this vision, which will bring up to a 20 percent reduction in electricity cost for industrial consumers, stimulate industrial growth in the country and increase the competitiveness of local industries in international markets.’

During the conference, SDPI Executive Director Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri mentioned how important it is to produce green energy in these times. He said, ‘The heavy rainfall and flash floods are a manifestation of climate change. Renewable energy mix can play a crucial role in emission reduction to mitigate these disastrous climatic impacts.’

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