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Power generation outlook and achievements

Electricity production in Pakistan averaged 7,612.33 gigawatt-hour from 2003 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 11,698 gigawatt-hour in June of 2016 and a record low of 4,195gigawatt-hour since December of 2010.

Electricity production in Pakistan increased to 11,698 Gigawatt-hour in June 2016 from 11,035 gigawatt-hour in May of 2016. Electricity shortfall is at around 5,000MW. The rising temperatures pushed demand beyond 21,200MW against the maximum generation of 16,548MW.

The annual growth rate of electricity demand between 2013 and 2020 would be about 7.8 percent, which would push the overall power demand to 27,840MW by 2017 and 31,900MW by 2020.

The demand growth would eventually swell the shortfall to 9,208MW and 10,844MW, respectively.

The energy planning expert group of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has forecast electricity shortfall to further increase to 10,844MW by 2020.

Pakistan is still facing acute power crisis. There is the low generating capacity, the lack of maintenance of public-owned power plants and underinvestment in the energy sector. Its energy production is not sufficient to meet current and future demands. Poor governance, incompetence, lack of transparency, distribution and transmission losses have made powering Pakistan a transmission impossible.

Present Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are responsible to provide electricity to half of our country. The government did not pay their debt so now they are charging or demanding higher per unit prices from the consumers. This hike in electricity prices is affecting not only local industries and homes but is also affecting exports of manufacturing goods.

GOVT’S FUTURE RESOLVED

The government must intervene and pay out the circular debt. The transmission lines here in Pakistan are incapable of transmitting electric voltages of more than two phases. This makes them in-compatible to carry higher voltages.

The focus of the federal as well as the provincial governments is to minimize the gap between energy demand and supply before the next general elections.

The government has carved out a new plan to purge the country of the menace of loadshedding with almost 1,000MW of electricity in surplus by December 2017. This will be three months before the deadline of March 2018.

Under the latest scenario, it has been decided by the government to further reduce the deadline by three months, meaning by that the country will be experiencing zero power outages by December 2017.

The country’s power deficit at peak season has been worked out at 5,000MW. Under the new plan, close to 7,000MW of electricity will be injected into the system that will not only eliminate loadshedding, but would also give 1,000MW surplus electricity.

The year 2016 remained the most stable as well as the best period for generation of power during the last 10 years.

Under the new timelines, the government wants to ensure availability of 2,400MW of electricity by November 2017 from three power plants based on LNG being installed in Punjab.

The three projects have joint capacity to generate 3,600MW, but each will start producing 800MW by November 2017. Of these, Bikki will start generating electricity by May 2017 and two others, one at Haveli Badur Shah and other at Balloki, will also start injecting 1,600MW into the system by November 2017.

The conversion of Guddu and Nandipur power plant to gas will help generate 400 to 500MW additional electricity in the system as currently the Nandipur power plant is generating 300 MW of electricity against its capacity of 425MW.

The Sahiwal coal-based power plant of 1,320MW will come on stream by July end 2017.

The Port Qasim coal-based plant of 650MW will come on stream by November 2017 and the second one, also of 650MW will start generating electricity by February 2018.

The Neelum-Jehlum with capacity to generate 969MW will be ensured to get fully operational by December 2017 and 1,410 MW from Tarbela-VI will also come on stream by December 2017.

The government completed delayed projects of 2,100MW soon after coming into power after general elections 2013.

The government evolved an effective anti-power load shedding strategy for giving maximum relief to the people and already announced Power Generation Policy 2015. Under the policy, the provinces were also empowered to generate and distribute electricity.

ACHIEVEMENTS

The important milestones reached in the last two years to overcome energy crisis included China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, water sector energy projects and 2400MW RLNG based power plants.

Under the umbrella of CPEC projects, two lists of projects were agreed as part of the package.

Early harvest projects of 10,400MW and Actively Promoted projects of 6,645MW are included in the overall CPEC energy portfolio.

Ground-breaking of three wind projects of 200MW, one hydel project of 720MW and one solar power project of 900MW had already performed by the Chinese President and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on April 20, last year.

Water sector energy projects, the sources said that a large number of energy cum irrigation projects have been undertaken by the government to tap the hydel resources of the country. About 12,000MW hydropower projects were currently under process. Several feasibilities on the Indus River cascade were also underway for optimal utilization of its full potential.

An important step has been taken to improve energy mix in the country and base power generation at the load centers to avoid long distance transmission losses.

In this respect, 2,400MW RLNG based power plants at Baloki, District of Kasur and Haveli Bahadur Shah, District Jhang have been initiated.

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) has also been established and the project has been approved by ECNEC at a total cost of Rs200 billion from the Federal Public Service Development Program. The government was also taking all necessary measures for development of renewable energy projects by the private sector.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROJECTS

An investment of more than one billion dollars has been made in the wind energy sector in the last two years. A total of 30 wind power projects with 1760MW capacity were being pursued at present out of which nine projects of 470MW capacity have achieved financial close.

In the solar energy sector, 31 projects with 999.6MW capacity for grid solar PV have been initiated during the period 2013-15.

After the announcement of the Framework for Power Co-Generation in 2013 (gagasse/biomass), some 1500-2000MW of biomass power is expected to be generated during the next three years.

As many as 30 wind power projects (1760MW) were being pursued by Alternative Energy Development Board, which were at different stages of development.

The three wind power projects of 149.5MW total capacity have achieved commercial operation during 2013-15 and were supplying electricity to national grid.

In order to tap the potential of electricity generation from sugar mills, the government on recommendation of AEDB announced the Framework for Power Co-Generation 2013 (bagasse/biomass). While 1500-2000 MW of power is expected to be generated in next 2-3 years. LOIs has been issued to ten investors/sugar mills under this framework for total capacity of 313 MW.

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