EU launches project to optimise country’s sugar industry

Lahore – The European Union (EU) on Monday launched a structured technical as well as financial support program to help Pakistan’s sugar industry become self-sustainable in terms of resource and energy consumption.

“The “Implementation of Resource and Energy Efficient Technologies Project” (IREET Project), aims to achieve this by supporting sugar mills through technology standardisation, enabling access to finance, and mobilising relevant public-sector authorities,” a statement said.

Benoist Bazin, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, inaugurated the project under the EU SWITCH ASIA Program in a ceremony held here.

Most of the sugar mills in Pakistan use outdated technologies and practices for production, resulting in high inefficiencies, wastage of energy and biomass resources, and increased cost of production.

The project, the statement said, was focused on providing support to sugar sector, financial sector, technology providers and public sector in popularizing resource conservation and energy efficiency technologies.

“The program will engage actors from the sugar sector, financial sector and public sector to create the requisite technical, financial and regulatory environment to ensure wide adoption of resource conservation and energy efficient technologies,” the statement said. Omar M Malik, Project Director IREET Project, said this program would build upon the lesson learned from HP Cogen-Pak project, which worked with NEPRA, AEDB, CPPA/NTDC, 72 Sugar Mills, 16 financial institutions, and six technology providers in sugar sector of Pakistan for the promotion of HP Cogen technology.

“The IREET project will result in capacity enhancement of sugar mills to select energy efficient technologies, build the capacity of solution providers to offer R&EE (Resource and Energy Efficiency) designs, work with NEECA (National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority) for revision of National Energy Conservation Policy for establishment of conducive regulatory regime, and work with State Bank of Pakistan and leading financial institutions for improving access to finance for R&EE technologies in the sugar sector,” Malik said.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Roshan Ara, Development Advisor, Trade and Economic Cooperation, and Imran Ashraf, Development Advisor Infrastructure/Energy & Climate Change, Delegation of the EU to Pakistan. Representatives of NEECA, Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, Pakistani energy efficient equipment manufacturers and sector/industry were also present on the occasion.

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