Govt. working to generate indigenous, affordable electricity: Omar Ayub

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 30 (APP):Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan Wednesday said that the government was working on a number of initiatives to generate indigenous, reliable and affordable electricity through different means
to meet ever-growing energy needs of the country.
Talking to a group of students and faculty members of the Sindh Madressatul Islam that called on him here, he said, “the country has plenty of indigenous and natural resources, which can be utilized for generating affordable electricity. Such resources can also help achieve sustainability in the system.”
The minister said the country was generating about 30 percent power from hydel, 60 percent from thermal, 6 percent from nuclear and only 4 percent from other renewable resources.
He was of the view that cost of thermal power was high as valuable foreign exchange had to spent on the oil import for power electricity generation.
He said new renewable energy policy would be in place by March 2019 after due consultation with the provinces and approval by the Council of Common Interests.
He said the new policy would focus on generating at least 20 percent of the total energy mix needs from renewable energy by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.
He said upgradation of the national grid as well as introduction of regional grids would be an important element of the policy. He said the ministry will add about 3,500 megawatt electricity in the system before the commencement of summer season by reinforcing the existing distribution system.
Omar Ayub said presently the country’s installed capacity of the electricity was about 30,000 MW, while the de-rated capacity was about 28,000 MW.
He informed the students that presently the country had the capacity to generate about 7500 MW electricity through hydle resource but due to weather conditions, the country was generating only 525 MW. He further said one unit generated through furnace oil cost about Rs 21 to 22 while hydle cost was only Rs 5 per unit.
The minister apprised the students that the government was also working to open the market of electricity for multi-buyer and multi-purchaser, creating an environment of competition.
He said the initiative would encourage healthy competition in the country. He said presently 10 distributions companies were operating in the country out of which Karachi- Electric belonged to private sector.
Due to wrong polices of the previous government, he said, the circular debt had mounted to Rs 400 billion in just a period of one year.
He said 25 percent of total population was without electricity and the government was taking all possible steps to provide them electricity.
He said that about 16,000 tubewell in Balochistan province will be switched over to solar. He said foreign and local investors were showing keen interest in the power sector.
He said the government had registered First Information Report (FIR) against 16,000 power thefts and arrested 1,600 people involved in the heinous crime and 300 employees had also been issued show cause notices .
He said the government had launched a comprehensive drive against power pilferage to overcome the inefficiency of the system and maximize recovery. He said Rs 100 billion was recoverable to only three circulars of the Pakistan Electric Power Company.
The minister said in Naudero, the government had ended power theft, installed 100 meters and the government ensured uninterrupted electricity supply to the consumers.
The minister said the first phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor was started in 1959-60 with the construction of Karakorum highway.
He said Heavy Industry Taxila, Heavy Mechanical Complex and other industries were set up at that route. He said it was the desire of Pakistan that spare parts industry should be set up in Pakistan while final products should be made in China.
The minister said Sindh Madressatul Islam and Ali Gharh universities had played a key role in imparting education to Muslims.
The students invited the minister to visit the Sindh Madressatul Islam, which was accepted.