NTDC secures Rs6.4bn loan for grid station, transmission lines’ construction

LAHORE: The National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) on Tuesday secured Rs6.4 billion financing from a three-member consortium of banks for construction of a 220kV/132kV grid station and 35 kilometre-long allied transmission lines for getting 1,274MW of lean renewable energy power from 10 wind energy projects being set up in Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor near Tando Muhammad Khan in Sindh.

The agreement for the loan, approved by the consortium (National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited and Bank Islami Pakistan Limited) was signed by the NTDC Managing Director Muhammad Ayub and the consortium’s representatives Asad Altaf, Zia-ud-Din Tahir and Amir Ashraf at a ceremony held here at Wapda House.

It is for the first time that the NTDC is raising funds from its own resources (balance sheet) without a guaranty of the government.

“Previously, we had relied on the Government of Pakistan’s guaranteed loans from the local market,” Mr Ayub said while speaking on the occasion. The financing facility would be a precursor for more funding for upcoming NTDC projects, he said.

According to the MD, the PC-1 cost of the Jhimpir-II transmission lines and substation project is Rs10.753bn whereas the funding required is Rs6.4bn. The remaining amount will be arranged by the company from its own available financial resources.

The project will have sufficient capacity to transmit more power in future. To meet the future development needs in Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor, the 220kV grid station would be upgraded to 500kV capacity in coming years, he said.

According to an official source, the work on 10 private sector wind power projects is under way at fast pace at the moment. These include Din Energy, Gul Ahmed Electric, Metro Wind Power, NASDA Green Energy, Liberty Wind Power-I, Liberty Wind Power-II, ACT-2 Wind, Indus Wind Energy, Lakeside Energy and Artistic Wind Power.

Each of these 10 wind power projects has a capacity of 50MW and the projects are set to start their commercial operations from February next year.

Later, more projects will be launched in Gharo-Jhimpir wind energy cluster, the official, requesting anonymity, told Dawn. Twenty-four such projects with an installed capacity of 1085MW have already been completed in this cluster, which are contributing around 950MW to the national grid at present. Our existing 220kV Tando Muhammad Khan grid and lines are taking power from these plants and adding it to the national grid, he explained.

He said the Rs6.4 billion bank loan would be transferred to the company accounts from the consortium.