ENERGY SOURCES

Dr.S.M.Alam Dr.M.A.Khan
Nov 02 - 08, 2009

Energy consumption in Pakistan is increasing with each passing day. This is an established fact that Pakistan is an energy deficient country. Energy power shortage and the frequent and unannounced load shedding in various parts of the country has created an uproar as the whole country and its rural vicinities have been taken over by looming shadows of darkness owing to prolonged power outages on routine basis.

Power failure has cast serious repercussions to the socio-economic lives of the people who have little hope of finding any relief from this unending energy phenomenon.

The energy consumption per capita in the country is low-340 kilowatts hour as compared to USA-15,680 kwh, Japan-6165 kwh, Singapore-4700 kwh, Malaysia-1145 kwh, Iran-724 khw, Thailand-0635 khw, and India-380khw.

According to a report, Pakistan produced about 7462X107 kwh electricity and consumed 8024X107 kwh in the year 2008 and stood at 34th place in the production of energy in the world.

USA is number one in the production of power and followed by China, Japan, Russia, India, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Korea South, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Ukraine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, Indonesia, Norway, Egypt, etc.

Energy sector plays a key role in the development and growth of the economy, as the availability of adequate supplies of energy is a prerequisite to generate economic activities. The main objective of the energy sector is to ensuring adequate, secure, and cost-effective supplies, utilizing the resources efficiently and minimizing the losses.

The power sector in Pakistan is owned by WAPDA and KESC. Together WAPDA and KESC transmit and distribute all power in Pakistan. Over half of the energy goes to household consumers, about one third to industrial consumers and rest to commercial and government consumers.

Thermal plants using oil, natural gas, and coal account for about 70% of energy production while hydro 28% and nuclear 1.5%.

Presently, much of Pakistan's rural areas do not receive electric power and about half of the population is not connected to the national grid. Power theft is a pressing issue in Pakistan.

The economic hydropower potential in Pakistan is estimated at 22,000 MW and the government is giving top priority to exploit this potential to cater to the increasing demand for water and power resources.

Pakistan has installed generating capacity of about 20,000 MW from different sources mainly hydel, thermal, nuclear.

The break-up is WAPDA 11,654 MW, KESC 1,756 MW, PAEC 462 MW and IPPs 6,000 MW.

Of the total capacity 5,000 MW (about 26%) is hydro while the rest 14,522 MW is thermal.

Between 1985 and 2005, Pakistan's total installed power generating capacity increased nearly fourfold i.e. from 5229 MW to 19,522 MW.

Between 1991 and 2004, total consumption increased by more than 84%. An average annual increase of more than 10% has been recorded in recent years.

The government is committed to develop this sector in order to promote sustained industrial growth and benefit the growing national economy.

Due to its ideal geographic location, Pakistan possesses immense potential to harness unlimited solar and wind energy. During the last two decades Pakistan has developed its potential in photovoltaic (PV) technology, which is suitable for small power requirements.

There is a need to plan for future energy requirement of the country. As the country's population is rapidly increasing therefore government should look for a long term solution for the energy requirement of the country.

Pakistan has significant oil, gas, coal, mineral ore deposits as well as solar and hydel potential. The country has oil reserves of over 310 million barrels as of January 2008. The oil and gas are the two major components of Pakistan's energy contributing more than 75 per cent of energy requirement of the country.

The produced oil comes from proven reserves located in the southern part of the country. The government in this regard has been adopting policies to increase the share of indigenous resources and has awarded 100 exploration licenses in 2004-5, which has resulted in significant investment in the oil and gas industry in the country.

Gas production during the last five years has risen by 62% to over 3.8 BCF/day. The country's two gas distribution companies in north SNGPL and in south SSGPL are investing over 200 million US dollars a year to increase the capacity of the existing distribution network of 80,000 kilometers. However, still only 20% of the population has access to natural gas.

Natural gas is found whenever oil and gas occur together. Natural gas largely contains 80% methane (CH4) gas along with small quantities of ethane, propane, butane, and contains carbon dioxide, N and occasionally helium.

Gas is the prime source of energy in Pakistan as it provides nearly 60 percent of the natural energy requirements. The share of gas in fuelling the economy is followed by oil which provides 29.4 percent.

Gas is the prime mover of Pakistan's economy, which use, allocation and prices should be managed with great care, expertise, and long-run vision. Natural gas is piped from gas wells for use as fuels in the homes, industries and into thermal electric power stations in the different parts of the country.

The biggest consumer of gas is the power sector, which uses it for generating electricity. Nearly 50% of the gas fuel consumption is in the power sector. Industry uses another 20%.

The next big consumer is the fertilizer industry, which uses 16 per cent as feed stock for producing urea. Households' consumption is only 18% followed by commercial use of 2% and CNG for cars totals 2%.

Certain components such as propane and butane may be separated from the gas at the wells. Bottled into tubes under pressure and sold as bottled gas is called LPG.

During 2007-08, the total gas consumption gas was 1.5 trillion cubic feet (TCFT). Current gas total resource potentials are about 32 TCFT. Reserves are adequate for about 24 years.

Pakistan has 10,000 km of gas transmission lines and 80,000 kilometers of gas distribution lines. Gas domestic consumers are over 3.9 million and gas commercial consumers are 70,000.

Gas production has been increasing at a steady rate of 10% per annum. In fact, Pakistan has the best-integrated gas supply system amongst the developing countries of the world.

The total number of vehicles running on CNG has reached over 902000 making Pakistan the world's second and Asia's largest consumer of CNG in the transportation industry.

The commercial requirement of energy in the country has doubled over the last decade.

Pakistan is also emerging as the preferred transit route for energy in the region, due to its ideal geographical location at the crossroads of central Asia and the Arabian Sea.

The demand for petroleum products is expected to stay steady at 20 million tons per annum with the increased energy demand to be catered by additional indigenous gas supplies to reduce the import bill of over USD 3 billion per annum.

The total oil resource potential is 27 billion barrels with crude oil refining capacity 11.28 million tons per year. The locally refined products per year are 8.7 million tons per year. The total consumption of oil is 20 millions tons per year & imports are 17 million tones per annum.

The coal is another source of energy product in the country. Pakistan is the world's 8th biggest producer of coal and the total proven reserves of coal in the country is estimated to be at 185 billion tons, having production of 3.31 million tons and with a consumption of 4.04 million tons. Feasibility studies are also underway for the development of over 1,000 MW of energy through the use of solid waste and coal.

Energy resources available should be efficiently utilized so as to get maximum benefits for the varieties of fields. The new technologies and procedures adopted internationally should be critically analyzed for their practicability in the country. According to some experts, the country's acute power crunch could be obviated by utilizing the vast reserve of high quality coal.