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Shine On: Artistic Milliners Ups Investment in Solar Power

One of Pakistan’s premier denim suppliers is doubling down on its environmental commitments with a project that captures solar energy to power its operations.

This week, Artistic Milliners announced the signing of a partnership with Reon Energy Limited to develop an 8.5 megawatt (MW) captive solar power system, which will generate about 13.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy each year. According to the verticalized denim manufacturer, the effort will increase its solar energy share to 11.2 MW, cutting carbon emissions by 8,279 tons annually.

The project, which was teased last month, will also incorporate Reon Energy’s AI-based Spark tool, which monitors live data, tracking system performance and efficient battery usage. These insights will inform machine learning models that can enhance energy savings and autonomous energy storage, optimizing operational processes over time.

Artistic Milliners and Reon Energy came together at a signing ceremony in Karachi, where chief executives from both companies spoke to how the project will help address growing concerns about CO-2 emissions. Artistic Milliners CEO Omer Ahmed said that decarbonization at the companies mill and factory is a pillar of the company’s 2030 sustainability strategy. “Our investment in solar energy affirms our commitment towards the sustainable energy revolution,” he noted. “With the integration of batteries to our solar setup in the next phase, we aim to further reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, promote the need to shift towards renewable energy, and play our part in diminishing the global carbon footprint.” Artistic Milliners has been working for a number of years to mitigate its energy impact, launching Artistic Energy, a subsidiary that works on solar and wind investments, in 2018.

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The groups came together to finalize the partnership this week.
The groups came together to finalize the partnership this week. Courtesy

The company’s efforts are in keeping with country-wide commitments to shift to domestically generated renewable power amid an escalating global scramble for energy. With prices rising and supply dwindling, factories in Pakistan have seen rampant load shedding, or power cuts, that can bring production to standstill for up to 18 hours at a time. In December, a shortage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) forced many of the country’s textile mills to shutter for weeks. The losses mounted to more than $250 million over the course of the month, according to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association. Then-Prime Minister Imran Khan responded to the crisis by instituting a commitment that Pakistan would produce 60 percent of its own renewable electricity by 2030.

Artistic Energy’s wind farms in the Jhimpir wind corridor, which have been operational for four years, have been designated top performers by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The Wind Energy Super Six project has made contributions to the country’s energy sector at large, the group said, as well as providing local communities with job opportunities. Last spring, Artistic Energy invested $370 million into two river hydropower projects, which will be operational by 2027. They are set to contribute a combined 521 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year to Pakistan’s energy grid—enough to power electricity for 133,000 homes.

The solar investment stands to bolster these efforts and round out a diverse portfolio of renewable energy sources. “We are making swift progression to produce clean energy that not only enhances the way of life for the people but also creates a positive ripple effect for the surrounding communities,” Artistic Milliners managing director Murtaza Ahmed said. “This milestone is a critical step that will provide environment-friendly energy and stable returns to the economy for decades to come.”