KARACHI - The windmill project, based on 66 turbines, at Jhampir town of Thatta district will start generating 106.4 MW per day in January 2013. The Thatta air corridor has the generating capacity of 50,000MW electricity per day. The project, which was launched by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in 2008, has January 31 next as the Commercial Operational Date (COD). But it is expected that the project would be fully operational before the schedule; by the end of this year. Zorlu Energi Group of Turkey and Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) are engaged in this mega project of renewable energy which makes a part of Alternate Energy Corridor of Thatta district. Both the companies owned, installed and would operate 33 turbines each. FFC would contribute 50MW electricity and Zorlu Energi Group would produce 56.4 MW for the National Gird Supply System. Zorlu Energi has been selling 6MW per day to Hyderabad Electricity Supply Company (HESCO) since 2009. This was informed to a group of reporters by Zorlu Energy Group’s Country Manager in Pakistan Syed Mumtaz Hassan and Chief Executive of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Arif Allauddin, during a visit of Asian Development Bank’s delegation to the site on Tuesday evening.Maurin Sitours from Indonesia was leading the ADB team comprising Ashok Lahri from India, Kazuhiko Koguchi from Japan, Jerome Joseph Lous Destombes from France, Richard John Anthony Karol Edwards from British, Khin Khin Lwin from Myanmar , Siraj Shamsuddin from Pakistan. The team members were the Executive Directors of ADB.Deputy General Manager of Zorlu Energi Group (Pakistan) Engr.Ghulam Murtaza Uqaili, its Finance Director Yagmor Ozdemir, Assistant Project Coordinator Aslam Rajar, Site Manager Murat Aziz, Deputy Director from AEDB, Shafqain Shah were also present. Country Manager, Zorlu Energi Group (Pakistan) Syed Mumtaz Hassan briefed media that his company has installed 28 turbines and five more would be fixed within next few days. All the 33 turbines would be commissioned within next two months. The Zorlu Energy would produce 56.4 MW daily. The total cost of their project ( based on 33 turbines) is dollars 145 million and its expected life is 20 years. The turbines cost is less than a half of the total cost of the project, he said. He said that the unique thing with the windmill generation is that there would be no upward shift in the tariff. Their agreed price of a unit is 13 cents and after ten years of operation of this project, the price would go down to 6 cents per unit. He expressed satisfaction that wind speed here is good enough throughout the year. In summer, it is 10 Kilometers per second. At average, the speed is 7.8 Kms per second throughout a year. The bench mark is 7.3 Kms per second.Chief Executive, Alternate Energy Development Board, Arif Allauddin informed media that windmill energy source is the cheaper than that of coal, hydro and gas generation in the country.In the year 2013, one hundred more windmill projects of 100 MW generation capacity each would be set up in the country. The local and foreign private sector companies would only be involved in all these renewable energy projects. They are given 20 year guaranty by Government of Pakistan.He said that the country has around 3,50,000 MW potential of alternative energy. The Windmill Corridor in Thatta district—from Jhampir to Keti Bandar- has more than 50,000 MW potential of power generation.He said that windmill tariff in Pakistan is still higher in the region and we are trying to lower it.He said that life expectancy of the turbines being installed here is 20 years, with capacity of 1.8 MW each. The turbines might be replaced with new ones before time as turbines with 2.5 MW generation capacity each have arrived in international market. “Technology is fast changing,” he remarked. For solar energy, he said the most proposed sites were in Punjab, including Rajanpur and Cholistan. He said that solar was costlier than windmill. The tariff for solar energy was between 17 to 18 cents per unit. The AEDB has submitted its plan with National Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for more projects of renewable energy in the country, he said. Arif said that Federal Ministry of Water and Power would always welcome local or foreign investors to alternative energy sector in the country. Deputy General Manager Zorlu Energi-Pakistan Engineer Ghulam Murtaza Uqaili said that the windmill cost can be lowered by manufacturing turbines locally. Besides the higher cost , it takes good time to import these.A turbine is eighty meters high. It has three wings and each wing is around 45 meters long.In his brief comments to media, the leader of visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) Maurin Sitours expressed his satisfaction over the progress on the Jhimpir Windmill project and the bank would continue its support. ADB has provided dollars 58 million for this project. He said that the ADB was considering to finance more projects in Pakistan.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 25-Oct-2012 here.