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Gul Ahmed, AEDB sign guarantee

ISLAMABAD: Gul Ahmed Wind Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Gul Ahmed Energy Limited and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Friday signed government of Pakistan guarantee by achieving financial close of its 50MW wind power project.

Gul Ahmed Wind Power Ltd Executive Director Danish Iqbal and AEDB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Asjad Imtiaz Ali signed the guarantee.

The company achieved financial close for its 50MW wind power project located at Jhimpir of Thatta district in Sindh by signing GoP guarantee at the AEDB office. The project has been co-developed by Infraco Asia Development, a multi-donor funded infrastructure development company from Singapore and the IFC (a part of the World Bank Group) is also taking a minority interest in the project.

The cost of the project will be $131 million. Debt for the project has been financed by the IFC, Proparco, FMO, United Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan and Bank Alfalah. The project is expected to go into operation in late 2016 and will supply environment-friendly electricity to the national grid.
We are determined to making a positive contribution to developing the renewable energy sector in Pakistan, said Iqbal Alimohamed, CEO of the company in a statement. This is the groups second wind power project to achieve financial close this year.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Executive Director Gul Ahmed Wind Power, Danish Iqbal lauded the efforts of the government to facilitate in achieving financial close of the project. He said that lots of wind power projects would follow and the country would get cheaper clean energy to overcome power crisis in Pakistan. He said the company had arranged all required funds to start work on this project.
AEDB CEO Asad Imtiaz Ali said March 31, 2015 is the last date to achieve financial close. The ministers absence was noted and when asked why the ministers were not present at the event the response was that they may have other more important engagements.

He said AEDB has signed financial close documents with wind power projects of 300 MW within two days which will be completed in 18 months. Private sector will invest $ 800 million in these projects arranged from different banks.
He said the estimated cost of Gul Ahmeds 50 MW wind power project is $ 130 million. Nepra has already determined 13.52 cents per kWh upfront tariff for wind power projects.
Tariff of wind power projects is higher in the first 10 years because of payments to banks, after which it would come down to around 4-5 cents per kWh.

He said the world is focusing on alternative generation sources because it will be clean energy and does not require foreign exchange for fuel.MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN