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A Remote Gateway to the World’s Largest Renewable Energy Park

Tucked away in a desolate landscape bordering Pakistan, an unassuming airstrip devoid of air traffic control towers greets incoming airplanes. Its sole infrastructure includes a portable toilet and a makeshift office housed in a container. Yet, against all odds, this humble airstrip serves as the unlikely gateway to the world’s largest renewable energy park.

Back in December 2022, when Gautam Adani, then the second richest person globally and head of the Adani Group, landed a small aircraft in this barren expanse, it lacked even a pin code and borrowed its name from a village 80 kilometers away.

With its highly saline soil and scarce vegetation, the land seemed inhospitable at first glance. However, Gautam Adani and his team discerned its potential.

An 18-kilometer journey from the airstrip through dusty, arid terrain leads to the site of the Khavda renewable energy park, spanning an impressive 538 square kilometers—roughly five times the size of Paris.

The Adani Group has not only installed solar panels to harness sunlight and windmills to capture wind speeds of 8 meters per second but has also erected worker colonies and desalination plants to make saline water from 700 meters below ground potable. Additionally, essential amenities like mobile phone repair shops have been established.

Despite its promise, the area presents numerous challenges, including heavy dust storms from March to June, lack of communication and transport infrastructure, and no habitable areas within an 80-kilometer radius. Moreover, water scarcity persists during the rainy season, with even groundwater proving saline, further compounded by its restricted zone status.

While some workers hail from Khavda village, accommodations are being developed to accommodate up to 8,000 workers.

At its peak, Khavda is projected to generate 81 billion units of electricity, sufficient to power entire nations like Belgium, Chile, and Switzerland.

Over the past five years, Adani Green conducted extensive studies, including geotechnical investigations, seismic studies, and environmental impact assessments, before commencing development. Construction began in 2022, involving the creation of 100 kilometers of roads, 50 kilometers of drainage systems, desalination plants, and optical fiber networks spanning 180 kilometers.

The Adani Group’s commitment to renewable energy extends across South Asia, including initiatives in Sri Lanka, all subject to rigorous scrutiny and assessments akin to those undergone by Khavda, ensuring comparable progress and development in these regions.

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