LAHORE: It is no secret that Pakistan is an energy-stressed country. Tackling this problem has been on the government’s agenda, but results are yet to be seen.
One of the key ways to steer the country out of the energy depression is to utilise its abundant renewable resources, experts say, stressing that the government must also work towards expanding its transmission network.
Based on these consideration, Lockton MENA, the world`s largest privately held insurance brokerage firm, organised a seminar titled, ‘Renewable Energy and Power: Managing Project Risk Finance’ in conjunction with Fidelity Insurance Brokers (FIB) – Lockton’s network partner in Pakistan.
Board of Investment (BoI) Secretary Syed Iftikhar Hussain Babar attended the event and appreciated the importance of such deliberations at a time when the country was facing a crippling energy crisis.
Babar said the growth of renewable energy projects in Pakistan will contribute in balancing the energy mix of the country, which at present was heavily dependent on thermal generation.
He claimed that the investment opportunities offered by the government in the shape of 17% guaranteed return annually in renewable energy projects is attracting significant foreign investment.
Babar said that with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and a number of other renewable energy projects there is a need to improve assistance by the financial sector to facilitate investors.
He also informed that a high-level committee has been constituted at the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to reform the insurance sector and a conflict resolution cell is functional at the BoI.
Significance of risk management
Lockton MENA CEO Tony Saada and FIB CEO Hassan Rehman Muhammadi, in their joint welcome address, said the seminar was a groundbreaking effort on part of their organisations to provide a forum to address the issues of risks in Pakistan’s renewable energy projects.
Lockton MENA vice president Ciara Appleford said that political violence, war and terrorism were an evolving threat to business flow in the region.
“Highest number of terrorist attacks occurred in Far East and South Asia with almost 8,000 attacks, this is triple the number of attacks in Africa, Europe, East Asia and the western hemisphere combined,” she said.
Lockton Vice President David Way emphasised that an asset was as good as the revenue it produces. In the case of renewable energy projects, it mattered more since any revenue interruption or unnecessary delay in flow is vital for project managers, investors, shareholders and bankers, added Way.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.