September 13, 2023
Pakistan Technology

Pakistani army decides to generate its own electricity

According to media reports citing sources from the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), the Pakistan Army has decided to switch from expensive energy systems to more affordable solar power. The aim of this move is to alleviate the energy crisis in the country by generating solar power for self-consumption in its cantonments nationwide.

Colonel Mansoor Mustafa, Director General Works and Chief Engineer (Army), has informed the CEO of AEDB and other high-ranking officials that the Army intends to play a role in eradicating the current energy crisis by generating solar power. The Government of Pakistan has already approved these projects, with the support of AEDB, National Electric Power Regulatory (NEPRA), and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The Pakistan Army has awarded projects to successful vendors, including M/s Nizam Energy, M/s Solis Energy Solutions, and M/s Foundation Solar Energy, through competitive bidding. Currently, Military Engineering Services (MES) is executing projects of a cumulative 54MW at various cantonments across Pakistan, with some projects exceeding 70% progress on the ground.

However, vendors are experiencing issues with importing offshore components, which have delayed several projects for the past six months. As a result, the General Headquarters (GHQ) has requested AEDB and other authorities involved in the Prime Minister’s Initiative on “Clean and Green Energy” to align vendors with the same facility provided to Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) providers under the scheme. This will enable them to complete the Army’s pending projects and make use of cleaner and more affordable electricity from solar energy.

The government aims to establish solar power plants of 10,000 MW at different locations in the country to reduce the cost of electricity generation, which is currently unaffordable for industrial, commercial, and domestic consumers. The government has already decided to shift federal government buildings from the energy system to solar power.

NEPRA has suggested that power companies have not reduced losses or improved recovery, resulting in higher electricity tariffs. The regulator has also proposed that the government privatize Discos, with the government planning to hand over at least one Disco to each province. According to Secretary Power, Rashid Mehmood Langrial, the power sector’s losses are higher than the country’s annual defense budget.

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