Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited President Kalim Siddiqui has said that Pakistan is not doing enough to meet its growing energy demand despite the fact that it needs some big energy projects.
“Pakistan cannot meet its rising energy demand without serious and consistent efforts on the part of the government,” Siddiqui said while speaking at the 7th CNG Conference and Exhibition on Thursday.
He said that Pakistan is facing gas shortage because it has failed to import gas through pipelines and has remained unsuccessful in importing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) over the last 10 years.
“The government needs to come up with consistent energy policies, otherwise the situation will deteriorate further,” he warned.
He said shortage of energy is badly affecting industrial production of the country. Industrial production was affected by at least $1.5 billion and it is feared to lose $3 billion and 300,000 labourers this year.
Siddiqui added that the government should expedite projects like Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, adding that small and big dams, as well as LNG and LPG projects are all important to meet energy demand.
Criticising the way gas is consumed in the country, Siddiqui said, “We use 38 per cent of gas in domestic and compressed natural gas (CNG) sectors, which is the most inefficient use of this scarce commodity.”
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Deputy Managing Director Azim Iqbal Siddiqui said that gas is a scarce commodity that should be used very cautiously.
“Let’s use gas as best as we can because of its scarcity in our country,” he said.
He added that SSGC has 16 gas fields, but the company does not have control over these fields whose production goes up and down.
CNG Station Owners Association Chairman Malik Khuda Baksh said that government control over testing of CNG cylinders is weak and leads to incidents of cylinder explosions.
Cylinders explode because of usage of unregulated or smuggled items that should be controlled by the government, he said.
EDO Transport City District Government Karachi Ateeq Baig said that the city government of Karachi is working on projects like CNG buses and mass transit system, with the help of foreign experts and donors.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011.
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