US approves financing for wind power project in Pakistan

US approves financing for wind power project in Pakistan Washington: A federal US body has approved USD 95 million financing for wind power project in Pakistan to build a 50 megawatt power plant.

The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) gave the approval at its meeting on Thursday along with another USD 193 million wind power project in Peru.

According to OPIC the USD 95 million credit facility will help build the 50-megawatt wind power plant in southeastern Pakistan's Ghoro-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor designed to generate 133 gigawatt hours of emission-free electricity annually.

Using General Electric Wind turbines, the Sapphire Wind Power plant supports a mutual US-Pakistan goal to diversify Pakistan's power generation beyond reliance on high-priced fuel oil by tapping Pakistan's vast renewable energy potential, an official statement said.

A recent study funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that Pakistan possesses 132,000 MW of potential installed wind capacity - virtually equal to the world's entire installed wind capacity for 2010.

The USD 193 million OPIC loan will support a 114 MW wind power project in Peru, the first large-scale wind project linked to the country's power grid.

"The provision of clean and reliable electricity is an essential building block of any economy," said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L Littlefield.

"The Board today affirmed OPIC's commitment to support efforts by Pakistan and Peru to diversify their energy production to include important contributions from renewable energy sources," she said.

"The wind power projects will enable both countries to take advantage of their massive renewable energy potential to help meet unmet demand for electricity," Littlefield continued.

"We are thrilled to partner with innovative US companies to bring these highly-developmental projects to realization," she added.

PTI