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First Solar to supply PV modules for 100MW solar plant in Pakistan

First Solar has secured an order to supply modules for a 100MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Pakistan developed by Turkish power company Zorlu Enerji.

In this regard, the US-based First Solar will provide more than 860,000 high-performance thin film modules for the new facility, which will be part of the 1,000MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur in Punjab province.

The 100MW solar power plant is anticipated to be completed and begin commercial operations by the first half of 2018.

It will produce around 180 million kilowatt-hours of power per year. This would be enough to meet the power consumption needs of around 140,000 average homes.

The solar plant is supported by a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Central Power Purchasing Agency.

Upon its completion, the installed capacity of Zorlu Enerji in Pakistan would move up to 156.4MW. The Turkish company’s other power plant in Pakistan is a 56.4MW Jhimpir wind power plant in Sindh province, which was completed in 2013.

Zorlu Enerji CEO Sinan Ak said: “We are confident that First Solar’s advanced PV modules will thrive in Bahawalpur’s desert conditions, delivering over eight percent more energy than conventional crystalline-silicon panels, and enabling our successful bid for a PPA.”

In February, an agreement was made by First Solar to have Zorlu Solar as a major distributor of its modules in Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bulgaria and other countries.

Apart from selling PV modules in the agreed markets, Zorlu Solar is taking up its own project development activity, powering its projects with technology from First Solar.

First Solar business development for Europe and Africa head Stefan Degener said: “This deal demonstrates Zorlu Group’s ability to enable our sales strategy by expanding First Solar’s installed capacity well beyond our existing markets.

“It also proves that our high-performance technology and Zorlu Group’s commercial expertise makes for a winning combination in any of the 26 markets covered by our agreement.”