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OPIC looks to Pakistan and Peru wind markets

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved a total of US$288 million in financing for two wind power projects in Pakistan and Peru.

“The provision of clean and reliable electricity is an essential building block of any economy,” said OPIC President and ceo Elizabeth L. Littlefield. “The Board today affirmed OPIC’s commitment to support efforts by Pakistan and Peru to diversify their energy production to include important contributions from renewable energy sources.”

“The wind power projects will enable both countries to take advantage of their massive renewable energy potential to help meet unmet demand for electricity,” Littlefield continued.

Pakistan

A $95 million OPIC credit facility will help build a 50-megawatt wind power plant in southeastern Pakistan’s Ghoro-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor - designed to generate 133 gigawatt hours of emission-free electricity annually.

Using GE Wind turbines, the Sapphire Wind Power plant supports a mutual U.S.-Pakistan goal to diversify Pakistan’s power generation beyond reliance on high-priced fuel oil by tapping Pakistan’s vast renewable energy potential.

A recent study funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that Pakistan possesses 132,000 MW of potential installed wind capacity – virtually equal to the world’s entire installed wind capacity for 2010.

Peru

A $193 million OPIC loan will support a 114 MW wind power project in Peru, the first large-scale wind project linked to the country’s power grid.

Comprising two wind parks on Peru’s Northwestern Pacific coast, the project’s 62 wind turbines will provide vital energy for a nation that has enjoyed strong economic growth during the past decade but lacked the energy investment to match it: from 2000 to 2010, electricity demand grew by more than 70 percent while installed capacity grew by only 40 percent.

When added to two 40 MW solar projects that OPIC’s Board approved in 2011 and 2012, the project puts OPIC at the vanguard of renewable power deployment in Peru.

ContourGlobal, a New York-based international power generation company with approximately 3000MW in operations in 15 countries, is the U.S. sponsor of the project. OPIC is already partnering with ContourGlobal on projects in Nigeria, Togo and eastern Europe.

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