Karachi which is the largest power consuming city
of Pakistan has to rely on various means to meet out its electricity
requirements due to adequate power generating capacity of Karachi
Electric Supply Corporation (KESC).
Despite having an installed power generating
capacity to the tune of 17500mw, its outmoded and outlived generators
hardly produce around 1000mw of power leaving a yawning gap of over
1000mw. The utility company which was so far running under the cap of
public sector entity, had to bridge the yawning gap between demand and
supply through purchase of power from two small Independent Power
Producers (IPPs) working in its franchised area, WAPDA and other
resources in bits and pieces. The shortfall in power generation was
due to policy of the government which had disallowed the corporation
to enhance its generation capacity. The decision to cap power
generation was probably imposed on KESC in view of the government plan
to privatize this almost a sick unit to get rid of its liabilities of
injecting huge funds every year in the budget.
However, the situation is bound to take a new turn
in the power generating sector especially after privatization of the
KESC. Though the new management would be free to expand its power
generating capacity or reinforce its supplies by purchasing power from
With this background of acute power shortfall and
growing demand for power in the days to come especially after
remarkable growth being demonstrated by the large scale manufacturing,
this industrial and commercial hub of Pakistan has become a point of
attraction for the international investors in power generating sector.
Besides the existing IPPs namely Gul Ahmed and
Tapal Energy, various international players in the energy sector have
approached the authorities of investment in the power generating
sector. Tapal and Gul each producing 126 and 124mw of power and were
also striving to expand their operations to almost double of the
capacity of their power plants. They have been granted permission to
expand yet the sustainable supply of gas to run their plant is one of
the major irritants to go ahead with their plans.
Since the fuel oil has become too costly to produce
power, the government has almost put a ban on oil-fired system of
power generation while the growing demand of natural gas has also
started creating scarcity of the indigenized natural gas.
Under the prevailing circumstance, people have
started finding alternative energy resources. Since hydro power
generation was out of question in Karachi, experts in the alternative
energy resources were of the view that wind which is available round
the year in Karachi can be the best option to generate wind power,
which requires no fuel for running the power generators.
In order to ascertain the viability of wind power
project, a Denmark-based company conducted studies on various
locations in Karachi including at Port Qasim, Keamari, Mannora and
West Wharf for installation of wind power plants.
After conducting successful surveys, Provital
Consortium has signed agreements with the city government, Karachi
Port Trust to install wind power plants at Mannora and Port Qasim.
These plants besides generating electricity would also produce potable
water after desalination of the sea water. This would be a two-pronged
project and if goes into operation would lend a helping hand in
resolving the water and power issues of this electricity starved city
Provital Consortium, currently involved in
desalination and wind power production around the world, has offered
to set up wind power and desalination plants at the strategic
locations in Pakistan.
Shakeel Neimat, President of Norddicom
International, originally a Pakistani firm based in Denmark for the
last 30 years, in collaboration with Provital Consortium, has offered
to set up sustainable wind hybrid power and sea water desalination
plants alongwith a one billion dollar loan on soft terms to Pakistan.
In this respect, an agreement has also been signed
with the City Government Chief Naimatullah Khan, disclosed Shakeel.
This two-pronged project would meet the current and
future needs of Pakistan's water and energy requirements sufficiently,
besides beating the sky rocketing prices of fuel oil to generate
Elaborating the project detail, he said that the
plant will be implemented with a land lease concession from Karachi
Port Trust and will be situated in the Mannora Island, Keamari at
Shakeel said that water production coming out of
this plant is more than KPT's requirement so therefore the surplus
water will be supplied to City Government and the Karachi Water &
Giving the reference projects carried out by the
consortium elsewhere in the world, Shakeel said that Provital was
selected as the private consultant to the government of Azerbaijan by
the United Nations. The consortium has devised methods for rapid water
purification to provide potable water for the refugees of the local
The group is fully technical consultant on all
energy projects under gross value of $400 million. The consortium has
already approved several projects including Yambu Municipal system in
Saudi Arabia, which is in excess of 50 million gallons of water per
day from the sea water.