CK Solar Korea, an investment firm, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Balochistan in southwest Pakistan for the installation of a 300-megawatt (MW) solar plant near Quetta, the province’s capital city.
According to Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper, the deal was disclosed by the province’s Secretary of Energy, Fuad Hashim Rabbani, while talking to the local media on March 30. Rabbani commented, “This project [will] help to overcome [a] shortfall of electricity in Balochistan.”
The project—which is expected to cost about US$900 million and to be completed in 2016—will be constructed on 1,500 leased acres in the towns of Khuchlak and Pishin.
Rabbani said that the underprivileged populace of the province would be greatly benefitted by the provision of green energy—particularly in the areas where there is no conventional electricity distribution. “Currently the local population of the targeted areas is using kerosene lanterns, which is [hazardous to health] and not economical due to intermittent price hike[s],” he explained.
In addition, he said that major benefits of the project would include the electrification of medical facilities, such as hospitals and basic health units; as well as the deployment of solar street lights and other supporting infrastructure.
What’s more, Rabbani said, the province plans to replace 800 electricity-driven, subsidized agricultural tube wells with solar water pumps, and to provide a water supply scheme in ten districts of the province by installing 20 solar water pumps.
Responding to a question, he conceded that the farmers in the region were suffering due to long hours of required load-shedding and provided assurance that steps would be taken to provide electricity to the farmers. Rabbani said that work on Loralai-DG Khan 220 KV and Dadu-Khuzdar 220 KV transmission line and substation projects would be completed by next year–thereby, minimizing load-shedding in the province.