Pakistan, World Bank sign $100m agreement for Sindh Solar Energy Project

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ISLAMABAD: With an objective to increase solar power generation and access to electricity in Sindh, the government on Wednesday signed a financing agreement worth $100 million with World Bank for Sindh Solar Energy Project.

The project would support the deployment of solar power in Sindh, spanning three market segments: utility-scale, distributed generation, and at the household level.

Utility-scale solar includes the development of solar parks to support private sector investment and launching of Pakistan’s first competitive bidding for solar power production, starting with an initial 50MW pilot solar auction.

Distributed solar includes at least 20MW of distributed solar PV on the rooftops and other available space on and around public sector buildings in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of Sindh.

The project would also provide solar home systems to 200,000 households in areas with low or no electricity access.

The total cost of the project is $105.0 million. The International Development Association (IDA) would extend the financing of $100.0 million for the project while Sindh government would contribute $5 million. Public funding would be used to leverage private sector investment and/or expertise in the three segments, with an emphasis on long-term sustainability, developing domestic solar PV experience, and the emergence of self-sustaining markets.

The project would introduce and showcase international best practice with renewable energy auctions, reduce the headline cost of solar deployment, create sustainable business models for potential replication, build institutional and private sector capacity, and identify opportunities for future renewable energy deployment that address issues of grid integration. The project is designed to help steer Pakistan toward a lower-carbon path to development.

Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Noor Ahmed signed the financing agreement on behalf of the federal government while Sindh Energy Department Secretary Musadiq Ahmed Khan signed the project agreement on behalf of the Sindh government. World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Ilangovan signed the financing and the project agreements on behalf of International Development Association.

The EAD secretary thanked the World Bank for extending its continuous support to the government in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development in the country.

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