Government's main emphasis
is to reduce its oil imports
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
May 20 -June 02, 2002
The energy sector, which provides the fuel for
economic growth for any country, is taking a new turn in Pakistan.
Besides the deregulation of the oil imports and pricing system, the
private sector is coming in at a very large scale through
privatization of the government owned organizations in oil, gas and
power sectors in Pakistan.
Beside privatization of the energy sector, the
government's main emphasis is to reduce its oil imports, which is
likely to reach $2.6 billion at the end of the year mainly due to
increase in international oil prices.
In order to measure the energy requirements of the
country at an affordable price, the policy of the government is to
enhance usage of gas and coal in all oil consuming industries
including the thermal based power generation system.
Besides use of coal and gas as the substitute for
costly oil, efforts are also being made to exploit other energy
sources such as solar and wind power especially in the coastal areas
of Sindh and Balochistan which are rich in sunshine as well as wind.
China has offered Pakistan necessary technical and
financial assistance in the development of wind and solar energy, as a
potent source of energy in Sindh and Balochistan.
Feasibility reports on solar and wind energy
sources have convinced China of solar and wind energy potentials
existing in Pakistan with particular emphasis on Sindh and Balochistan.
It has been worked out that solar electrification
system could work successfully in the coastal areas of these two
Solar system with modern technology is capable of
generating power for village electrification, cooking, pumping water
from tube wells running television booster stations and operation
stations and operating water desalination plants.
Demand for natural gas during next three years is
likely to increase from present: 2061 MMCFD to 3197 MMCFD and in next
8 years the demand is likely to jump sharply due to shift from oil to
gas based technology.
Pakistan is lucky to have huge reserves of coal,
which have not been developed so far at a massive scale.
China has recently entered into agreements to
develop coalfields at Thar and Lakhra and to develop coal-fired base
power generating units.
Besides conversion of power generation from oil to
coal, another major change in the use of energy is taking place in the
Cement Sector, which is again, a major energy consuming industry. With
the technical and financial assistance from China, the cement industry
in Pakistan is likely to shift entirely from oil to c
oal within a
couple of years.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has already come
out with successful experiments on using solar energy, which could be
very well developed with Chinese technical and financial assistance on
large scale. A desalination plant with a capacity of 6000 gallons of
water per day is already successfully working at Gwadar, on
There is the potential for effectively and
productively running of solar energy plants at Pasni, Ormara, Gadani,
Sonmiani, Damb and other settlements along Balochistan coast. In the
province of Sindh, coastal cities and towns have plenty of solar
energy and can be put to good use to give them an economic and social
uplift to these poverty-ridden areas.
Efforts are also underway for the use of solar
energy through solar powered water pumps, solar water heaters, and
solar coolers for cooling of houses and huts. Experiments have also
been made to use solar energy for drying agricultural products in
sunshine areas of Sindh and Balochistan. In Balochistan, more than a
dozen areas have already been identified at Khurkhera (Loralai) Balker
Dera Bugti, Lethar Kharan, Shahrozai Kharan Nowtani Kharan Bughat
Loralai, Karbala Pishin, Duragh Musakhel, Muslimbagh Qilla Saifullah,
Lak Pass Mastung and Ali Zai and Malazai.
Wind is also widely available both in northern and
southern Balochistan. Nine windmills one in Maslakh range near Quetta
and remaining in coastal areas of Mekran including Sonmiani, Kore
Khera and others are already operative. One windmill is also working
The cost of electricity has become unaffordable for
common man in Pakistan. In order to bring down the cost of electricity
in Pakistan, it has become imperative to cut down the cost of
production so that it could be provided at an affordable price. This
very important goal can be achieved only by using cheaper fuels such
as gas, coal, wind/Hydel and sunshine especially to measure the local
requirements in different parts of the country.
It has been established that besides
non-traditional energy resources could easily and efficiently be
converted into shaft power of electricity.
Proven Reserves: 39.7
Oil production: 2.8 million
Oil consumption: 18.3
Oil imports: 17.3 million
Crude Oil Refining Capacity:
11.3 million tons
Reserves: 1,946.2 million
tons of oil equivalents
Production: 1.4 million tons
of oil equivalents
Consumption; 2 million tons
of oil equivalent
Import 0.6 million tons of