Govt pursuing multi-pronged strategy to meet power shortage

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24 (APP): Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif Monday said the government was pursuing multi-pronged strategy to overcome power shortfall in the country.
Speaking at a Energy Investment Forum organized by Private Power Infrastructure Board(PPIB) the minister said the country was facing from 18 to 20 hours power load-shedding before the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) came into power, but now it had been reduced to six hours by initiating a number of power projects.
As a result of such efforts, the minister said the government
had encouraged private sector to pump in resources in power sector through implementation of a robust energy policy.
He said the policy was featuring handsome incentives besides simplifying procedures to private players, offering attractive rate of return on ivestment, so there was vast opportunities to private sector to inject investment.
Owing to the government’s measures, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) ventured in to power project with a around $10 billion of investment outlay.
He said the government had also taken measures to refurbish transmission lines which was one the major causes for power wastage, adding private sector was being encouraged to invest in such projects.
He said the country was blessed with massive energy resources, which needed to be explored, adding there were over 11000 billion tonns of coal resources in Thar alone.
He said efforts had been initiated to get energy from the coal resources and currently, the minister added projects having accumulative capacity of over 4000 MW were in the process.
Similarly, he added, China Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) had fast track energy projects which would generate more than 10,000 MW in short time.
He said there were vast opportunity for investment in hydro power sector and currently 16 hydro projects were ongoing in public sector with capacity of over 16,000MW.
He hoped the deliberations and suggestions by participants of the forum would help a great deal to find regional solution to meet the energy requirements.
Later talking to media, the minister said the CAREC forum would help work out solution to challenges the member states were facing in power-sector.
He was of the view that cooperate on power issues should no be limited, rather there was a need to initiate transborder projects and share solution for meeting the energy needs.
Replying to a question, the minister said that those resorting to sit-in were harbouring personal motives and did not wish Pakistan to make progress.
But, he added, the government was committed to move ahead on development projects and extend relief to masses despite of such overtures on the part of retrogressive forces.
Konstantin Yelisheyev, Pwc, Infrastructure and Energy speaking about the future of the energy sector in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Programme(CAREC) said by 2040 developing countries would have abandoned subsidies for fossil energy resources and nuclear power in view of significant strain on national budgets.
He was of the view that tangible measures should be taken by the member states of the CAREC to encourage private sector to investment in power sector which he added would give boost to the government’s efforts for meeting the energy needs.
However, he added there rationalization approach should also be adopted in view of scarce resources to have concrete results out of the power policies.
Wencai Zhang Vice President Operation 1, ADB, said a number of projects were being financed in member state of the CAREC.