ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Power Division Ali Zafar has underscored the need for further exploiting domestic resources and lessening reliance on imported fuel for power generation, which will save foreign exchange and lead to affordability and sustainability in electricity supplies.
“Affordable and reliable electricity plays an important role in socio-economic development of any country,” he said while presiding over 118th board meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Monday.
Meeting participants reviewed progress on the power projects being handled by the PPIB and voiced satisfaction over the pace of work in a bid to start commercial operations within the given timeline.
The board asked the PPIB to facilitate investors and complete the projects within the specified time frame in order to meet future energy requirements in the country.
Earlier, PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the meeting on the overall PPIB portfolio, saying it was focusing on addition of affordable electricity and prioritising domestic resources like Thar coal and hydroelectric power generation.
In this regard, the PPIB will shortly advertise two to three raw sites for developing hydroelectric power projects. The projects will be awarded through international competitive bidding on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis under the applicable power policy.
The meeting participants were apprised that seven Thar coal-based power projects with cumulative capacity of 4,950 megawatts were at different stages of development.
Furthermore, coal will also be available for new power projects from existing mine leaseholders. Thar coal holds vital importance for generating thousands of megawatts of affordable electricity for the decades to come.
It is believed that the development of Thar coal projects will play a major role in socio-economic development of remote areas of Sindh and will help in achieving energy security and sustainable development goals.
Giving details of power projects being processed by the PPIB, Mirza informed the meeting that its target was to complete nine projects of 8,200MW by the end of current year and 14,000MW projects by 2021. Of these, six projects of 6,421MW have already been commissioned and are supplying electricity to the national grid.
PPIB has attracted leading international investors and lenders to the country’s power sector and is currently administering 36 independent power projects (IPPs) with cumulative capacity of 15,469MW worth around a billion dollars.
PPIB is also implementing the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme by processing a major chunk of power projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2018.