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Ensuring an energy-sufficient Pakistan set to get centre stage

P[/dropacp]akistan has faced numerous challenges over the years, in ensuring steady supply of energy resources for the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors to function smoothly. However, Pakistan remains to be blessed in terms of natural resources, which can be used to generate abundant, safe and cheap energy in the long run. Both the government and private sector has taken great initiatives to build numerous large-scale ventures to overcome the prolonged energy-crisis in the country. These projects are long term, as well as short term, based on; solar, hydel, hydrocarbon and renewable energy resources.

As of every year, the most diligent professionals, energy experts, regulators and stakeholders, inspired to formulate a long-term collective strategy for an energy-abundant future, will gather at Energy Forum, an insightful annual conference.

This year’s Energy Forum by Shamrock Conferences International, in Islamabad opens with the primary objective of discussing the new frontiers to overcome the challenges faced by the energy sector of Pakistan. The theme of this forum is: “Approaching new frontiers in Energy-sufficiency” in Pakistan.

Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be inaugurating the 9th Pakistan Energy Forum 2017 being held on February 23 at 9.30 am at the Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. He will be talking about the status, scope and potential of Trans-national ventures such as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), TAPI Gas Pipeline, IP Gas Pipeline, etc. along with numerous other development initiatives and mega projects for Power-Generation and Energy Resources.

The theme of the conference is “Approaching New Frontiers in Energy Efficiency” and will dilate on critical current trends in the energy sector. The keynotes will be addressed by Mr. Umer Masood, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Water & Power and eminent economist, Mr. Sakib Sherani, CEO, Macro Economic Sights.

Remarkable opportunities are emerging with the fast-paced construction of ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC), having an investment of more than $50 billion. Besides a nation-wide network of highways, the CPEC comprises of more than 14 early harvest energy projects, which would be completed by March 2018, providing an additional capacity to generate 10,400 megawatts of electricity. Under the CPEC umbrella; two transmission lines would also be built from Matiari in Sindh to Lahore, with a length of 880 km, transmitting 4,000MW of electricity.

Therefore, the benefits of this largest-ever national project will reach in every corner of Pakistan, particularly the people living in the under-developed regions.

Since the country’s hydro-carbon resources are depleting rapidly, while the energy-demand is increasing, the government has wisely shifted its focus to trans-national gas pipelines, in collaboration with the gas-rich regional countries. In this regard, work has already begun on large-scale ventures like the TAPI Gas Pipeline to carry 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually, while the final deliberations are underway to build the Iran-Pakistan Pipeline, with a capacity to carry 750 mmcfd.

Pakistan and Qatar have also finalized a deal for long-term imports of cheap LNG from Qatar. The experts agree that; bulk imports of cheap LNG promises to be a game-changer in meeting the country’s energy requirements and enable massive savings to the national exchequer. Over the next two years, LNG based power plants will help add 3,600MW of power into the national grid.

The ‘Thar Coal Power Project’ worth 1.6 billion US dollars is also in progress, promising an initial generation of 660MW of power. Pakistan is preparing to mine enormous quantities of coal from the Thar region, so the nation’s dependence on imported fuel reduces significantly. The Dasu, Diamir and Bunji dams on the Indus River will also generate 15000MW of electricity annually. Some other energy ventures being built in the country include; 10 numerous power projects have been started to meet the power need of the province of Sindh; the new projects will be established in Thatta, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, Jamshoro and Larkana districts.

With the global decline in oil prices in the past, the electricity price had also shown a sharp decline. With solar projects on the rise, the energy crises of Pakistan are further expected to go down. On the renewable energy front; The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Energy Park, being built in southern Punjab, is one of the largest solar power projects in the world.

Both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan have had tremendous increase in solar projects over the last few years. 5000 households are already being provided solar power in Chitral, whereby 100 villages in southern districts would also be provided solar energy in the near future. Five new power projects are planned and expected to be completed by 2018, generating a total of 214 megawatt electricity, while 356 Micro-Hydel power schemes of 35 megawatt are to be completed in 2017.

Speaking of Balochistan, the governments of Canada and Balochistan have signed an agreement to set up solar plants of a cumulative 1,000MW, scattered in different parts of the province.

Leading EPC’s (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) in renewable energies are on the rise, giving the public more options than ever to work with the private sectors, and play their individual part’s in solving the country’s energy crisis. With brilliant ideas such as Net-Metering, each member of the nation can contribute their surplus energy back to the national grid.

All these efforts reflect the commitment of the government and the private energy sector, to resolve the energy crisis being faced by the country.

The learned experts at the Pakistan Energy Forum 2017 will get further assistance in devising robust strategies to ensure uninterrupted energy supply. This insightful forum will fortify Pakistan’s commitment to adopt more innovative ideas and launch cohesive efforts, in order to enhance the performance and output of the energy sector.

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