ENERGY INDUSTRY
TAKING A NEW SHAPE IN PAKISTAN

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.

AGREEMENT

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 provinces.

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 coal within a couple of years.

SOLAR

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 Balochistan coast.

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 at Hub.

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.

OIL

  • Proven Reserves: 39.7 million tons

  • Oil production: 2.8 million tons

  • Oil consumption: 18.3 million tons

  • Oil imports: 17.3 million tons

  • Crude Oil Refining Capacity: 11.3 million tons

GAS RESERVES

  • Natural Gas Remaining Reserves: 24 trillion cubic feet

  • Current Production: 0.875 trillion cubic feet a year.

COAL

  • 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 oil equivalent