INTERVIEW WITH MR. MUNEER S. GODIL, PRESIDENT MG ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES
Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2012
Muneer S. Godil, an electrical engineering graduate of NED (1992) did two master level courses on managing energy in USA and worked there for some years before returning to Pakistan. About 12 years back, he established MG Engineering Associates, a rising consultancy house specializing in the subjects of energy generation, its management and conserving it. He has been functioning as the President and Principal Engineer.
MG Engineering is a multi-discipline solution and consulting service provider, engaged in providing expertise in power plant projects, energy engineering solutions with going green concept, energy conservation, energy efficiencies improvement, electrical mechanical design & engineering, with biomass & solid fuel project implementation for the power industry, industrial buildings and process industry.
PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON PERFORMANCE OF ENERGY SECTOR IN LAST ONE YEAR IN PAKISTAN?
GODIL: Pakistan's power sector comprises of thermal and hydel generation. Most thermal plants have low efficiency, which have outlived their operational life. Our decision makers never thought of a scenario where per barrel cost of crude oil would hit over US$100. No major expansion came in hydel sector after 1970s except a run of the river Ghazi Barotha project.
Dams in Pakistan were built for water management. Power generation is a by-product. We can only achieve power load management or water management. We kept expanding the economy at an unsustainable GDP growth rate without realizing that we will be short of indigenous energy resources very soon. This is what we are experiencing today. The only option was to run the inefficient thermal power plants on imported fuel. At high energy cost, this is not an affordable option.
We are reaping today what we have sown for the last 30 years. No one up till now has worked on proper energy mix.
PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON ENERGY SECTOR GROWTH SINCE PAKISTAN'S INDEPENDENCE.
GODIL: For years after 70s, the energy mix was in favor of hydel energy. Inefficiency in thermal plants did not bother us as the primary fuel was cheap. After 9/11, the global energy cost sky rocketed and exposed us to international energy price volatility. In early 1990, our energy mix was based on hydel 33 per cent , oil 44 per cent, gas 20 per cent, nuclear 2.5 per cent and coal 0.1 per cent.
In early 2000s, the energy mix changed by policymakers in a way to reduce expensive import of oil and utilize indigenous gas without evaluating the efficiency (i.e. oil 20 per cent, gas 44 per cent).
It's very interesting for individual and masses to understand that since 2009 there is a very marginal increase in gas consumption, remaining energy mix is unchanged.
PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON REASONS FOR ENERGY CRISES OVER LAST ONE YEAR.
GODIL: Energy sector requires at least 10 years advance planning including multidiscipline financial plans. However, a few of us try to create opportunity at the expense of masses by not taking the long-term decisions if at all they have the capability to decide. Recent IPPs and RPPs are set example of exacerbating energy crises, as we are not even able to utilize the installed plant capacity due to non affordability of imported fuel. It is very much important that the decision maker should have at least educational background of the department in which he is serving. If we see in reality, it's the other way around.
PAGE: YOUR COMMENTS ON BUSINESS PROSPECTS IN ENERGY SECTOR IN THE CURRENT YEAR.
GODIL: We have yet to see the worst days in Pakistan's energy sector. There is a huge room for energy efficiency improvement in both government and industrial sectors. The decision makers have to set some short-term goals by implementing efficiency improvements, curtailing losses, and importing of LNG. While medium term goals can be achieved by fast track exploration and exploitation of domestic oil and gas resources including offshore area and import of pipeline gas, long term strategic decision should be based on implementation of hydel projects, which are proven i.e. 15000 plus megawatts and changing energy mix by utilizing local coal availability and moving in renewable energy direction.
Enormous resources, which this country is blessed with, are to be harnessed by professionals, if they get the opportunity to perform. Numerous opportunities are available in the energy sector. Hydel project are to be expedited for early commissioning. Old inefficient thermal power plants should be replaced with high efficiency technology. Primary fuel availability should be ensured by import of LNG, LPG and pipeline gas. Solid and biomass fuel should be incorporated in the energy mix. Renewable energy can also contribute in Pakistan's energy mix.