The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is to support the development of a landmark wind energy project in Pakistan with a $38.1 million investment.

The 56.4 MW Zorlu Pakistan wind project is the first internationally financed wind power development in Pakistan and will form a key part of plans to boost renewable energy capacity in the country. IFC’s involvement in the project was critical to its financing because few international players currently operate in Pakistan’s power sector, says the bank.

The Asian Development Bank, ECO Trade and Development Bank, and Habib Bank are also financing the $159 million project. The plant is being developed by Turkish-owned Zorlu Enerji Pakistan Limited.

When complete, the wind farm will be one of the first commercial wind projects to operate in Pakistan, which wants to reduce dependence on energy imports.

“Pakistan’s first wind-power plant project to be built with international finance was made possible by the support we received from IFC,” said Zorlu Energy General Manager Arif Özozan. “By demonstrating the viability of Pakistan’s local and renewable resources, this project is expected to have a considerable impact on the economy.”

Gulrez Hoda, IFC Director for Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and North Africa, said: “IFC’s partnership with Zorlu Enerji, one of our key clients, enables us to extend additional support to the renewable-energy sector in Pakistan. We hope this project will stimulate the interest of other investors in harnessing the country’s favourable wind resources.”