The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has awarded its first power production license to a Chinese company for the 102MW Shigo Kas Hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Saifco Group of Pakistan and state-owned China National Machinery Industry Corporation-Sinomach will deliver the project that has an original worth of $307 million.
This is the first power production license to be awarded to any joint venture through competitive bidding in the province that is rich in the water resource and can generate a huge amount of hydel power.
This development is a result of the policy of the KP government to facilitate foreign investment in the energy sector.
As per reports, the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) decided to offer solicited sites to different investors as independent power producers (IPPS).
PEDO carried out international competitive bidding/competitive bidding before declaring the joint venture of Sino-Pak companies as a successful bidder for the development of 102MW Shigo Kas Hydropower Project.
NEPRA considers that the construction of renewable energy projects is vital for socio-economic development and it is working with the KP government to boast hydro-power projects.
An official of NEPRA while addressing media said:
The existing energy mix of the country is heavily skewed towards thermal power plants, mainly operating on imported fossil fuel.
He highlighted that the continuous import of fossil fuel not only creates pressure on the foreign exchange reserves, but also creates environmental concerns.