KARACHI - The Sindh government has planned to invest over Rs4 billion to explore solar energy to overcome electricity crisis, officials told The Nation on Saturday.
Under the proposed projects, the Sindh government has prepared two uplift schemes to produce solar energy for houses/buildings as to install tube wells of irrigation to save agriculture land from water logging and salinity and the second schemes is to take water of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) in coastal area of Badin district after treating it to the Thar coalfield in Tharparkar through installing of tube wells.
This initiative has been taken on the directives of the President Asif Ali Zardari, who directed the provincial government to explore alternative energy sources as huge potential of solar and wind resources existed in the province.
The boring and installation of 250 tube-wells would be carried out in the development project, which has been made part of Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the current financial year-2012-13, for which a sum of Rs50 million allocated in the current fiscal.
The total estimated cost of around Rs2 billion (Rs1.9 billion) would be required for the completion of the scheme in next three four years, officials familiar to the development told The Nation.
A high level meeting, which was chaired by the chief secretary of the Sindh government, reviewed the status of the project. The meeting was informed that the same scheme was discussed in the PDWP under which installation of only 25 tube-wells at stage-1 as pilot project planned. On successful performance, the installation of remaining 225 tube-wells would be taken up in stage-2 of the scheme.
According to the official document, the objective of the scheme is to produce most economic and uninterrupted power supply through solar energy system on one hand and to save national exchequer of Rs3.22 million. Besides it will help to irrigate the land and reduce water logging and salinity in the areas and efficiently in comparison with the existing vertical drainage system on electricity.
In details of the project scope showed that the installation of 250 tube-wells on solar energy and ancillary work would be carried out with Rs1562.088 million, while a sum of Rs114.874 million would be spent on the construction of pump house discharging box/duty room of tube-wells.
However, another uplift scheme of installation of 250 tube-wells on solar energy for assured supply of 300 cusecs water for Thar coalfield from RD362 of LBOD spinal drain was also in process.
With total estimated cost of Rs1920.140 million, the proposed uplift scheme is a part of ADP 2012-13, while preparation of (Project Concept) PC-1 of this scheme, with involvement of multinationals on their role of social corporate responsibility, was also under process, officials said.
In the detail of proposed expenditures, the boring and installation of 250 tube-wells on solar energy with Rs1478.630 million, construction of pump house with Rs62 million and other earth work with Rs247.050 million are part of the project.
The objective of this scheme is to provide most economic and uninterrupted power supply through solar energy system and assured supply of water required for power plants at Thar coalfield. Developing of Thar coal energy resource would provide employment and infrastructure as well as boost the trend in the development of various technical resources, officials said.
Highlighting the importance of the project, they said availability of water is prime component for the development of Thar coal power generation besides the other infrastructure.
According to the officials of the alternative energy department, both the schemes are in study process, hoping that the scheme would be materialised from current year.