USAID, OPIC, and GE: Wind Turbines to Add Electricity to National Grid

February 18, 2014 | Islamabad

Thomas E. Williams, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, reaffirmed the United States government’s commitment to help Pakistan address its energy shortage through wind power projects in a meeting with General Electric (GE), Pakistani government officials, and businessmen today. Wind projects are expected to bring up to 1750 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to the national electricity grid by the end of 2015.

Addressing Pakistani government officials, senior executives from General Electric – including GE’s Vice Chairman of the Board John Rice – and private sector wind developers in Islamabad, Deputy Chief of Mission Williams said: “These wind projects are a positive example of a public-private partnership in the important field of renewable energy. The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. government development bank, is in the process of negotiating long-term, low-interest financing with Sapphire Wind Power Company, Ltd. and has four other wind projects in various stages of financial review.” For all of these projects, GE will provide the turbines. While these five U.S.-financed projects will add an estimated 250 megawatts to Pakistan’s electricity grid, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to provide assistance to upgrade the transmission lines, which will benefit a total of 25 energy projects in the area. All projects together are expected to bring a total of 1750 additional megawatts to the grid by the end of 2015.

GE, the main supplier of wind turbines for power projects in the Sindh wind corridor, updated the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission on the progress of its wind projects. The GE delegation members expressed optimism that the Pakistani government will partner with GE to expedite the approvals and permits required for the financial close of these projects.