LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to hand over 200-megawatt coal power plant at Dera Ghazi Khan to the private sector, according to an announcement at a roundtable on the energy sector.
The Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) announced the decision as part of the final recommendations that emerged from the Energy Roundtable held on Monday. The roundtable had been aimed at overcoming the energy crisis. A consultant to the Chief Minister of Punjab on Economic Affairs conducted the seminar discussions and moderated input from selected speakers among the 450 delegates.
He said that a Letter of Intent was recieved from Telenor Pakistan on renewable energy projects and two MoUs were signed between Candyland Group and the provincial goverment for establishing a 50MW power plant and MS Iran-Pak (SUNIR) for energy projects in Punjab. The consultant also said that recently PBIT brought in agreements worth over $ 600 million at the Punjab Investor Conference in Karachi. Nadeem Babar, the CEO of Orient Power Company Ltd and the Chairman of Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) gave the delegates an overview of the current crisis and identified what he called “myths that surround the power sector of the country.”
He advocated for market forces to determine tariff and said that the current circular debt and the wider circle of mismanagement is resulting directly from forced tariff structures. The discussions ranged from the roadmap for nuclear power, gas allocations towards the most effective users, removal of delays in NEPRA to fast track all new projects, a commitment to prioritize on co-generation for sugarcane growers and to curtail electricity losses.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.