Sardar Hasnain Bahadur Dareshak, Minister for Energy, Government of the Punjab paid a visit to Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power (Pvt) Limited (QASPL) on Monday at its head office located in Gulberg, Lahore. The minister chaired a meeting which was attended by Muhammad Ajmal Bhatti Secretary for Energy, Government of the Punjab along with the senior management of QASPL including its Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Badar-ul-Munir, Chief Financial Officer Salman Javed Hashmi, Company Secretary Salman Ahmed and General Manager Plant Hassan Askari.
The CEO of QASPL gave an overview of the Company which was incorporated on 16th September 2013 and successfully established the first industry-scale solar power plant in Pakistan at Lal Suhanra, Bahawalpur with an installed capacity of 100MW. The CEO mentioned that, since achieving Commercial Operations Date (COD) back in July 2015, QASPL had injected more than 1.2 billion units into the national grid earning sales revenue of Rs. 24.44 billion. Several operational efficiencies together with economical deployment of resources had allowed QASPL to record net profits of Rs. 12.30 billion as of 31st July 2022.
Explaining the financing model, the CEO informed that the plant was financed through a 25% equity investment from the Government of the Punjab while the remaining amount was financed through a syndicated term finance loan negotiated with the Bank of Punjab. While the loan amount was set for 100% repayment by 2025, QASPL had declared Rs. 4.2 billion dividends till date for its shareholder i.e., the Government of the Punjab. This set QASPL apart from all other companies functioning under the Government of the Punjab, as being the only public sector company in Punjab which had paid dividends to its shareholders.
The tariff and cost structure of the Company, its Board of Directors composition, organizational chart and other operational achievements were also discussed in detail. The Minister was informed that since achieving COD, QASPL had consistently exceeded production targets fixed by NEPRA and for the last five years it had exceeded its EPC targets as well consistently for the last five years. Another unique accomplishment of QASPL was that it was the first and only solar power plant in Pakistan which was registered with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and earns additional revenue from sale of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits on the basis of reduced carbon-dioxide emissions against production. Based on these achievements, a letter of appreciation was received by QASPL from the then Chief Minister Punjab in December 2021 terming its performance “outstanding.”
In addition to its main operations, QASPL was also simultaneously executing six solarization projects funded through the Punjab Annual Development Plan (ADP) all over the Punjab. The CEO briefed the Minister Energy on the projects which included solarization of a number of off-grid/poor-grid rural villages across the Punjab and solarization of various public buildings. The process of surveys in selection of areas and criteria for selecting beneficiaries was also discussed. The Minister appreciated the work being done by QASPL and the manner in which the Company was being managed by the CEO and its Board of Directors. He desired that the Company continue its efforts to deliver for the Government of the Punjab.