Ministry launches data portal to transform energy market

Current single buyer/seller model will turn into wholesale market

Rizwan Ghilzai March 16, 2019
The portal was a step towards materialising the dream of making the power sector vibrant by removing all bottlenecks. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Omer Ayub Khan launched the Central Power Purchasing Agency’s (CPPA) data exchange portal with the aim of transforming Pakistan’s energy market, currently based on a single buyer/seller model, into a wholesale or merchant market.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the minister said power generation companies would submit and receive information electronically through the web portal, which would help improve efficiency of the power sector.

The portal was a step towards materialising the dream of making the power sector vibrant by removing all bottlenecks, he said. It would also help make a gradual transition to a paperless environment and improve communication among all stakeholders of the sector, he added.

“Our ultimate thrust is to establish a wholesale energy market as it will bring efficient players in the power generation and distribution sector,” he said, adding it would cut down energy generation cost, provide reliable energy and give substantial relief to consumers.

Under the competitive energy cost, he said, the industrial sector would get a boost and the country’s exports would increase, strengthening the national economy and overcoming both the current and fiscal account deficits.

Pakistan’s resources can make it an economic power

Omer Ayub said at present around 60% of the country’s energy production, based on the installed capacity of 30,000 megawatts, was based on fossil fuel including gas, coal and oil, while 30% was hydel, 6% nuclear and 4% renewable.

He said indigenisation of energy mix would ensure energy security, bring down power generation cost and promote competitive environment in the power sector.

Referring to the economic progress achieved by China, he said it was all based on increased productivity with minimum expenses. The minister said in the coming years there would be revolutionary changes in the field of technology and there was a dire need to equip the departments with latest trends. He said the government was working to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Pakistan, which was being adopted in developed countries.

Commenting on the Green Pakistan programme, the minister said a conference would be arranged in the next few days to implement the net metering system in all distribution companies.

He said the country’s power generation varied in winter and summer seasons and due to regular maintenance of power producing units. He said Pakistan was negotiating with Iran and Turkmenistan for the import of electricity, adding that a joint working group had been formed with Turkmenistan to get 2,000MW of electricity at competitive rates under the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan energy supply line.

The minister said the government was making efforts to reinforce the existing power transmission system, under which it recently achieved financial close of the Matiari-Lahore transmission line and its groundbreaking would be performed soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2019.

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