Lahore: As significant growth potential is being witnessed in renewable energy projects in Pakistan, risk considerations are clearly moving higher up the agenda among investors and operators of renewable energy projects.
Insurance and risk management requirements for renewable energy projects were discussed thoroughly in a day-long seminar in a local hotel in the provincial capital here on Thursday, featuring leading international project finance risk insurance specialists for the first time in the country. A large number of local and international investors in renewable energy sector also attended the moot.
The event titled “Renewable Energy & Power: Managing Project Risk Finance” was organized by Lockton MENA, the world`s largest privately held insurance brokerage firm, providing insurance and risk management solutions, in conjunction with Fidelity Insurance Brokers (FIB) – Lockton’s network partner in Pakistan.
Syed Iftikhar Hussain Babar, secretary, Board of Investment (BOI) Pakistan in his keynote speech at the event appreciated and highlighted the importance of such deliberations at a time when the country was faced with severe energy crisis and the present government was making all out efforts to add 10,000MW in the national grid by 2025.
Babar said that 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 lucrative investment opportunities offered by the government of Pakistan in the shape of 17 per cent guaranteed return annually in renewable energy projects is attracting a significant number of foreign investment in the sector which has immense potential in the country.
Referring to the potential of future investment in energy sector in the $46bn worth CPEC project and a number of recent renewable energy projects based on run-of-the-river hydel, geo-thermal, solar, wind and biogas technologies initiated across the country, Babar underscored the need for better assistance by the financial sector to facilitate the investors and their financiers. 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 Board of Investment (BOI).
Tony Saada, CEO, Lockton MENA and Hassan Rehman Mohammadi, CEO, FIB, in their joint welcome address earlier said the seminar was a groundbreaking effort on the part of their organizations to provide an expert forum to debate the issues in addressing risks in Pakistan’s renewable energy projects in order to remove technical hurdles in their financing through international lenders.
Other speakers at the event included John Nolan, SVP Power & Infrastructure, Lockton MENA, David Way, SVP, Lockton MENA, Phil Pavey, underwriter, G-Cube, Ciara Appleford, VP, Lockton MENA, John Chambers, CTC, Dubai, Syed Amir Ali, Head of Investment & Corporate Banking, Meezan Bank, Ashraf Hasan Rana, Director, Bridge Factor, Mansoor Ali Khan, GM, Hamid Mukhtar Company and Ata Khatib, Director, Lockton MENA.
The expert panel of international and local speakers thoroughly discussed the potential for the renewable and alternative energy in Pakistan and issues like the role of risk consultant broker in debt-financed projects; business interruption insurance, reinsurers’ view of Pakistan renewable energy market, etc.