Demonstrating the viability of infrastructure investments in Pakistan
As a politically fragile state, few international investors are capable of managing the risks for capital intensive infrastructure projects in Pakistan. However, Pakistan is in critical need of investment in infrastructure in general, and in renewable energy in particular. InfraCo Asia is uniquely positioned to apply its development expertise and resources to demonstrate the viability of infrastructure investments in Pakistan.
The power capacity shortfall in Pakistan is more than 5,000 MW- about one-third of the total demand on the system. Load shedding is persistent, with the public being forced to stay without power for more than 9 to 10 hours per day in some cities and around 16 to 18 hours per day in many rural areas. Shortage of electricity has also affected industry and businesses; recent studies estimate that the country has been losing 2-3% of its GDP due to power shortages.
In 2012, InfraCo Asia began to develop the Metro Wind Power and Gul Ahmed Wind Power Projects jointly with local sponsors, the Alimohamed Family (Metro Wind Power) and Gul Ahmed Energy (Gul Ahmed Wind Power). InfraCo Asia provided development stage expertise and capital to complete the development of the projects and secure debt financing from international and local lenders. Together with further funding support from sister facility, InfraCo Asia Investments, InfraCo Asia enabled the projects to reach financial close in Q4 2014 (for Metro) and Q1 2015 (for Gul Ahmed). Both projects have completed construction and commenced commercial operations in September 2016 (Metro) and October 2016 (Gul Ahmed).
The two projects together contribute 100MW renewable energy generation capacity and benefit approximately 700,000 people with improved access to electricity. The projects not only help address the country’s power capacity deficit, but also reduce Pakistan’s exposure to high cost and insecurity of fuel imports, as well as reduce carbon emissions.
InfraCo Asia, together with InfraCo Asia Investments, have successfully divested their interests in both projects to the private sector in September 2017.