Zero load shedding not possible at present, says Khawaja Asif

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif repeated government’s stance that zero load shedding was not possible at present while only 15 percent power outages were being reported across the country. 
Speaking at the signing ceremony of an agreement regarding installation of a 50 megawatts (MW) power plant at Jhampir (Sindh) by Sapphire Wind Power Company (Pvt) Ltd he said 85 percent of power load shedding has been reduced and 100 percent end to power cut was not possible at the moment. The need is to minimise corruption and line losses of the power sector, he added. 
About wind power projects in the country, He said power firms were ready to invest $3 billion in the wind power projects of the country. 
“5,000 MW of power will be added into the national grid by 2017 utilising baggass, sugar, solar and wind sources of the alternative energy, Khawaja Asif said at present circular debt stood at Rs 280 billion and country’s power system required four years to be able to bear the burgeoning demand of power supply. 
Minimum power outages are being carried out in the country during Ramazan in a bid to provide relief to the masses. On Monday, Chief Executive Officer of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CEO of the wind power firm inked the agreement to install 50 MW of power plant at Jhampir Sindh. The wind power firm has so far successfully achieved the financial close and it would install a power plant of 50 MW at the cost of $130 million. 
Earlier, in September 2013, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of the United States and Sapphire Wind Power Company signed an agreement for setting up 50 MW Greenfield Wind Power Project in Jhimpir. United States Ambassador Richard Olson signed a $95 million ten-year loan on behalf of the OPIC to Sapphire Wind Power Company in this regard.
Sapphire Wind Power Project would enable Pakistan to take advantage of its massive renewable energy potential to help meet unmet demand for electricity, while the provision of clean and reliable electricity has become an essential building block for country’s economy.

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