The company has applied to the provincial government of Balochistan to start collecting wind data for a proposed 1 gigawatt farm, according to Shamsuddin Shaikh, chief executive officer at unit Engro Energy Ltd. The company is in talks with global renewable companies to partner on the project, he said.
“We have already done some work on thermal, our big push is in renewables,” Shaikh said in an interview in Karachi.
Engro, which already mines coal, is seeking to hedge its bets by considering an entry into the country’s nascent renewables market. Solar and wind energy contributed 3 percent to Pakistan’s electricity generation as of March, according to Karachi-based brokerage Arif Habib Ltd. The nation’s power generation increased by 35 percent to 31,000 megawatts earlier this year, erasing a shortfall in power supply, although an aging grid and faults still lead to blackouts.
The nation plans to auction 1.2 gigawatts of green capacity this year, Amjad Ali Awan, chief executive officer of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board, said in an interview in March. The government will also auction four hydro projects next year that Engro plans to participate in, said Shaikh. The company is also considering bidding for solar plants of a total 350 megawatts of capacity proposed by the Balochistan government.
In addition, the company plans to spend $220 million to double coal-mining capacity by 2021. It will also acquire stakes in three planned power plants located close to mine pitheads, said Shaikh.