Sindh govt to provide subsidised solar panels in flood-hit areas

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Sindh government is mulling over providing subsidised solar panels in flood affected areas and setting up three 400 MW solar power projects in Karachi and Jamshoro. Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh informed a high-level delegation of the World Bank led by Regional Director Infrastructure Mr. Guangzhe Chen in a meeting here on Wednesday to discuss solar energy projects in Sindh.

An area of 1462 acres of land has been identified for solar power projects and allotment of land was included in the agenda of the next Sindh Cabinet meeting; following the allotment, process of competitive tariff bidding would start, the meeting was informed. Energy Minister pointing dire need for solar home systems in rural areas due to the recent floods said that provincial government was considering providing 200,000 solar home systems in those areas.

Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh  added that the Energy Department was moving a summary to the Cabinet for consideration and approval for distribution of solar home systems at 90% subsidised rates and 50% subsidy in urban areas. The World Bank has assured its full supp ort for the subsidy amount as per the decision of the Government of Sindh while it was also agreed that water pumping stations and sewage motors in cities will be solarised on priority basis. The WB delegation was further informed about progress on establishing the Sindh Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (SEECA) and the Sindh Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh  said that the Sindh government is a fast developing province in coal projects, wind projects, transmission line and other energy sector maintenance activities to ensure power supply.

It was informed in the meeting that the proposals for acquiring management of DISCO’S and Transaction Advisory Services is under consideration and WB’s technical assistance was required in the regard. World Bank Country Director Naji Benhasin, Team Leader Anjum Ahmed, Sindh Solar Energy Project Program Leader Teuta Kacaniku, Energy Secretary Sindh Abubakar Madani and Project Director Sindh Solar Mahfooz Qazi also participated in the meeting.

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