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Pakistan textile sector mulls investment in solar energy
Jun '12
The textile industry in Pakistan is seriously considering solar energy as a viable option to keep their business running in the midst of severe power and gas shortages afflicting the country.

The ongoing power and gas crisis has severely affected production in Pakistan's export-oriented textile and garment sector.

About a decade ago, Pakistan invested large amount of capital to generate electricity through gas. However, these gas plants are unable to meet the present demand for fuel for transport and domestic purposes.

This has created a shortage of gas for industrial purposes and about 30 percent of textile and garment manufacturing units in Pakistan are facing the threat of closure.

In fact, the depleting availability of gas, combined with high cost of thermal electricity, is forcing the textile industry to think of replacing their captive power plants (CPPs) with solar energy plants.

Although setting up of solar plants is expensive compared with gas, it is less costly compared to thermal generation of power. While each unit of electricity produced using gas roughly costs around Pk Rs. 5, thermal energy costs Rs. 13 per unit. In comparison, solar electricity would cost Rs. 8 per unit.

Speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr. Ijaz Khokhar, Chief Coordinator, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), said, “People in the textile industry are planning to replace the existing CPPs with solar energy.”

“However, doing so is not an overnight process. It may take another 1-1.5 years to reach its goal. Moreover, setting up a solar plant is very costly,” he adds.

Seeking Government support for installation of solar plants, he says, “At present, the circumstances are very tight and not suitable for investing in any new project. So, the Government should extend loans on a very low interest rate to motivate textile unit owners to invest in solar energy projects.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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