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Setting a Regional Benchmark: Pioneering Public-Private Partnership Solar Power Plant in Gilgit-Baltistan

Solar Power Plant

HUNZA, NOV 17 /DNA/ – NPak Energy Limited, a subsidiary of the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the industrial and infrastructure development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), commissioned a 1MW solar photovoltaic power plant (SPP) with 600kWh Battery Storage in Hunza district of Gilgit Baltistan.

This project sets a unique precedent as the first public private partnership (PPP) in Gilgit Baltistan, producing clean energy and actively contributing to the global agenda to mitigate climate change.

The inauguration ceremony held on 17 November 2023 was attended by Honourable Haji Gulbar Khan, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan and other representatives of the Government as well as the local community leaders and NPAK Energy Management.

At the ceremony Honourable Haji H.E. Gulbar Khan, Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan said ” The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) highly encourages clean and green energy solutions. We congratulate Aga Khan Development Network on commissioning the 1 MW solar power plant. We assure the communities that Provincial Government will focus on more renewable energy programmes to overcome the power shortages in Gilgit-Baltistan.” He was accompanied by Provincial Minister for Planning and Development, Mr. Raja Nasir Ali Khan, Advisor Information Mr. Eiman Shah, Provincial Minister for Social Welfare and Women Development Ms. Dilshad Bano, Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr. Sana Ullah, Secretary Water and Power, Mr. Sajjad Haider, Secretary Works Mr. Sabtein Ahmed and other senior political and community leaders. 

This landmark project was financed and implementedby NPAK Energy and is the first comparable scale, privately developed and operated SPP in Gilgit Baltistan. The plant’s 2,376 photovoltaic panels at the altitude of 2800 m above the sea level, started feeding power to the Hunza district grid. It will produce 1,600 MWh per year of electricity from solar energy resources, which will power local households and businesses, addressing the acute energy deficit in Hunza District andavoidingapproximately1,134 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent annually.

NPAK Energy has signed a 30-year Concession Agreement with the Government of Gilgit Baltistan, which aims to develop sufficient generation capacity, business and utility operations, ensuring a self-sustaining supply of clean,reliable and affordable electricity to every household in Hunza district.

Mr. Mansoor Dhanani, CEO NPAK Energy Limitedstated that “having a strong track record in rural electrification through Aga Khan Development Network’s renewable energy programmes in the region, we are proud to foster our work in Gilgit Baltistan within the partnership we have established with the Government of Gilgit Baltistan,bringing sustainable energy to local communities. We look forward to NPAK Energy’s continued growth and success inHunza District.”

NPAK Energy developed a financial model with a blended finance investment vehicle that crowds in equity, sustainable debt, and grant financing. By achieving the full scope of investment, NPAK Energy aims to strengthen public service delivery by creating a sustainable, self-reliant utility operation. This will catalyse economic opportunities and job creation. It also provides the opportunity to demonstrate innovative and efficient PPP solutions to serve social and sustainable development that could then be replicated in other districts of Gilgit Baltistan.

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