Sindh energy dept signs MoU for 500MW floating solar project at Keenjhar Lake

Our Correspondent
Friday, Jun 14, 2024

The Sindh Transmission & Dispatch Company (STDC) and GO Energy Private Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday for the transmission of a 500-megawatt Floating Solar Project at Keenjhar Lake.

Sindh Minister for Energy Nasir Hussain Shah was the chief guest at the signing ceremony. Secretary Energy Musaddiq Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer STDC Saleem Shaikh, CEO GO Energy Ammar Ali and K-Electric officials were present in the event.

The 500MW Floating Solar Project is set to become one of the largest floating solar installations in the world with state-of-the-art solar panels and floating infrastructure designed to withstand the unique challenges of Keenjhar Lake’s environment.

The provincial energy minister said that the Go Energy Private Limited is working on the project with the cooperation of the STDC, the Sindh Energy Department, and the Sindh Irrigation Department.

The STDC Keenjhar Lake Power Project, he said, would lay a 220-kilowatt transmission line of about 60 kilometres to the K-Electric grid station at Dhabeji, Karachi. Nasir Shah said that K-Electric is the off-taker of the 500-megawatt floating power project for which the power utility had provided a letter of intent and the energy department had also provided a letter of intent.

He said that this project is environmentally friendly as it would help prevent water evaporation and would also benefit aquatic life. He added that the project would also benefit land conservation promote green energy in Sindh and provide a source of affordable electricity.

The project, he said, would boost the economy of the Sindh province by creating jobs. Shah said the government is determined and trying hard to utilise these renewable resources at a faster pace and their effort is to reduce the overall basket tariff of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and make it more affordable electricity for the common people of the country.

Apart from tariff reduction, renewable energy, he said, would also contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals to create a clean, reliable, and sustainable environment and they hoped to complete the project by the end of 2026.

Secretary Energy Mossadiq Ahmad Khan said that on the special directives of the minister, work was underway on several projects to provide cheap and free electricity to the people. He said mini-grid stations would be set up at the district level to provide affordable and environment-friendly electricity to the remote areas of Sindh. He said the cost of electricity generated from this floating plant would be R15 per unit which would be a lower price than those offered by other power generation plants.

CEO STDC Salim Shaikh said that compared to KE, the STDC’s line has never tripped and while the STDC’s line losses have never gone above 1.6 percent, Nepra has allowed line losses up to 2 percent.

Go Energy Chief Executive Officer Amar Ali Talat said the project is a unique idea. He added that Keenjhar is the world’s largest clean water lake where a floating project has been developed with the support of Minister Nasir Shah and KE.

He said experts from Singapore had studied this project. The project would prevent a quarter of the lake’s water from evaporating. He shared that the Project Bankable Feasibility Study had been completed by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS), which has an extensive experience in floating solar worldwide.

He said that environmental approvals are at a final stage with SEPA, and the EPC bidding process is underway. Tariff approvals are targeted before the end of this year and financial close by early next year. “This project underscores our unwavering commitment to combating climate change and driving economic growth through sustainable means. Together with our partners and stakeholders, we are determined to create a brighter, cleaner future for Pakistan,” he said.