At a time when the government is suspending gas supply to the industry that generates its own electricity, Agha Steel Industries has announced plans to install a 2.25-megawatt solar power project.
According to a notification sent by the company to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday, it has signed a contract with Renewable Power Private Limited for installation of the 2.25MW solar power project at its production facility located at Port Qasim, Karachi.
“Meezan Bank has been nominated as the lead Islamic banking arranger for the project,” it said. “This would be one of the largest solar power projects installed by a steel manufacturer in Pakistan.”
The company’s announcement came amid shortage of gas across the country. Gas is a major raw material used by the export and non-export-oriented industrial units in Pakistan to generate their own electricity.
The government had permitted a handful of industries to generate electricity when the country was facing prolonged power outages.
According to the statement, the solar power project will initiate a green steel revolution by helping steer sustainability of the company’s energy mix as well as by reducing the burden on national grid.
The 2.25MW solar power project will also help to reduce carbon emissions by 46,000 tons during its lifespan of 20 years.Re
The project, being installed on a self-consumption basis, will produce around 3.3 million units of clean and renewable electricity every year, resulting in a significant drop in the carbon footprint of the steel manufacturer.
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The renewable energy source will not only help ease burden on the national grid but will also help the company slash manufacturing costs.
In a statement, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) President Saleemuz Zaman urged the federal government to take immediate notice of suspension of gas supply to the industrial power plants despite assurances of swift supply by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar.
He pointed to a meeting of the Sindh Industrial Liaison Committee held on January 29, which was attended by Babar and Special Assistant on Energy Tabish Gauhar.
“During the meeting, the two officials assured the industrialists that the moratorium on gas supply to the power plants of industries will not be applicable to those units which are not being provided electricity as per their required load,” he said.
A source in the industry told The Express Tribune that the country was facing acute shortage of gas and the deficit was expected to increase further in the coming days.
“In this regard, the government wants the industry to get electricity connections installed or invest in renewable energy sources,” he said.
An official of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) said load-shedding of gas for the industry was being carried out owing to the government’s decision and the gas company had promised to keep providing gas until electricity connections were provided to the industrial units by the respective electricity providers.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2021.
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