Abraaj takes majority stake in Pakistani wind power company

Pakistan has been working on establishing investor-friendly policies to attract investment into the renewable energy sector.

Abraaj’s stake in K-Electric, above, was sold last year in one of the largest private transactions in Pakistan’s history, and the company says it wants to continue investing in the country’s power sector. Akhtar Soomro / Reuters
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Abraaj Group is to acquire a majority stake in a clean energy company in Pakistan, its second investment in the country this year.

The Dubai company is acquiring the stake in Jhimpir Power from Burj Capital.

It is developing a 50 megawatt wind power project in Sindh, south-east Pakistan, which is expected to be completed early next year.

The area, known as the Jhimpir wind corridor, is about 120 kilometres east of Karachi. It already has more than 550MW of wind farms in operation and more than 1 gigawatt is under construction or planned.

Pakistan has been working on establishing investor-friendly policies to attract investment into the renewables sector.

The country is targeting a 6 per cent mix of renewables in its total power mix by 2030. While this may seem small compared with the UAE’s goals of clean energy sources making up 30 per cent of energy generated by 2030, Pakistan needs far more infrastructure expansion before capacity can be added.

“With a shortage of over 6,000MW and rising power consumption in Pakistan today, we are excited by the sheer size of the clean energy infrastructure opportunity, enabling government policies and the potential of the Jhimpir wind corridor,” said Sev Vettivetpillai, the managing partner and head of the Abraaj thematic fund.

This is not Abraaj’s first foray into the country’s energy sector. The investment firm sold its stake in power utility K-Electric for US$1.7 billion in October, representing one of the largest private transactions in Pakistan.

“Having invested across the energy value chain in growth markets, including the power sector in Pakistan, we look forward to growing our renewable footprint and consolidating our presence in the sector,” Mr Vettivetpillai said.

The Dubai company has invested across the energy value chain to the tune of $1bn in 10 investments in growth markets.

Saad Zaman, an Abraaj partner, said that this was just continuing on the success of the company’s first wind project in Pakistan. “The attractive renewable power policy framework implemented by the government has created a strong impetus for the private sector to invest in clean energy,” he said.

Abraaj said this month that it had acquired a stake in Islamabad Diagnostics Centre.

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