KARACHI (DNA): Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has demanded that the Federal Government should explain the rationale behind approving the installation of a new 1263MW power plant being set up by Punjab Thermal Power Ltd in Jhang; which is based on imported RNLG. This new plant will cost 6 cents USD/Kwh, when producing electricity on imported RLNG and as high as 11 cents USD/Kwh, when producing on HSD. On the other hand, the government is not allowing setting up of environment-friendly renewable energy power plants based on Wind and Solar; which will cost merely 3.5 cents USD/Kwh.

This step will further add to the already unmanageable circular debt; increase import bill; and will result in production of expensive energy – and, the resultant increase in cost of doing business. It is pertinent to note that wind and solar plants require no imported fuel and cause no burden on import bill or exchange rate.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo was referring to purposely blocking and discouraging the wind and solar projects, which were recently awarded Pakistan’s lowest power tariff by NEPRA at an average of 3.5 cents USD/Kwh to 12 projects totaling 670 MWs and also result in up to $470 million FDI.

Moreover, President FPCCI has cautioned the government – under present circumstances – that installation of this new power plant will lead to a new scandal just like the other IPPs that are now facing the music. He also condemned the role of vested interests in this project.