Pakistan’s electricity demand rises up to 20%

Minister claims growth of circular debt has been reduced by Rs200b this year


APP June 22, 2021
Load-shedding policy is causing a decrease in the sale of electricity from the available take-or-pay power plants and thus resulting in higher per unit cost of electricity. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Federal Minister for Energy Muhammad Hammad Azhar has said up to 20% growth in demand for electricity has been witnessed this year, of which industrial demand has remained above 12-13%.

During a meeting with US Embassy Chargé d’affaires Lesslie Viguerie, Azhar said that the increase in demand was a positive sign not only for the overall economy, but also for the energy sector as it boosted the confidence of investors.

Azhar told the US envoy that due to the prudent policies and effective measures undertaken by the government, the growth of circular debt had been reduced by Rs200 billion this year as compared to the previous year.

The federal minister also spoke about the approximate $800 million investment that Pakistan had made in the expansion and improvement of transmission and distribution system in two and a half years, which led to the record transmission of more than 4,000 megawatts this year.

“Another $117 million has been earmarked for the next financial year for the improvement of transmission and distribution system,” he said. Azhar invited US-based companies to explore possibilities of investment in Pakistan’s energy market. He highlighted that Pakistan and the United States had excellent working relationship in the energy sector, which would get a further boost from the new investor-friendly policies of the present government.

Shedding light on the close partnership between the Power Division and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the minister pointed out that yet another milestone in long-term energy planning had been achieved with their assistance in the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP), which was bound to address the issues related to planning and demand assessment.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2021.

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