The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is considering taking over the Floating Solar Project (FSP or the Project) and in this effort is seeking funding from the World Bank. Development of water and electricity in Pakistan Authority has prepared a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) and, according to a Business Recorder report, it is engaged in meetings with the World Bank to establish a 300 MW floating solar project in the country.
A World Bank delegation is expected to arrive in Pakistan today for a ten-day visit, for the initial assessment and evaluation of the project. The World Bank delegation will meet with all relevant authorities and stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Water Resources, the Water and Electricity Development Authority, and the Economic Affairs Division. After the visit, the World Bank mission would produce a feasibility report for the project, which would detail the proposed financing and the expected return on investment (ROI) for the following period.
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The World Bank team includes, but is not limited to; Gunjan Gautam (Senior Energy Specialist and Team Leader), Rikard Liden (Senior Energy Specialist and Co-Team Leader), Imran ul Haq (Senior Social Development Specialist), Sana Ahmad (Senior Environment), Uzma Sadaf (Senior Procurement Specialist), Shafiq Hussain (Procurement Specialist), Noureen LNU (Financial Management Specialist), Mohammad Omar Khalid (Senior Consultant) will be supported by Amna W Mir (Senior Associate from the program).
The World Bank mission is expected to hold a meeting with the WAPDA project management unit on April 22 in Islamabad. Following this, it is planned to meet the officials of the Ministry of Water Resources on April 23. The mission would also hear briefings and participate in discussion sessions with the competent authorities.
According to the initial assessment conducted by the Water and Power Distribution Authority of Pakistan, the project is expected to enhance the capacity of WAPDA as it increases electricity supply by financing 300 MW floating solar sub-projects in the water body of the already existing project of the Ghazi-Barotha Complex.
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Under the project, a 150MW floating solar sub-project will be deployed in the headwater basin of Ghazi Barrage and another floating project of similar capacity at the Forebay of the existing Ghazi Barotha hydropower plant. The project would significantly improve electricity supply and help meet the growing demand for electricity in the country.
Currently, according to the National Electric Power Regulator Authority National Industry Report 2021, the total installed power generation capacity in Pakistan is 143,588 GWH, of which a meager 4,521 GWH is produced by renewable sources such as electricity. solar and wind energy. Thermal sources represent 61.76%, while Hydel sources represent 27.02%. A transition to renewable energy sources was long overdue and is a major part of Pakistan’s 2050 vision.