CPEC a model for energy scenario

Minister says energy sector efficiency has increased, but more needs to be done

July 14, 2022
The 10th JCC meeting is seen as critical for what is called re-energising CPEC, making the CPEC Long-Term Plan 2017-30 effective. Photo: File


China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) power plants are the most efficient in Pakistan and they are an exemplar for Pakistan’s energy scenario, said Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik.

Pakistan’s energy sector is hanging in the balance this summer due to inefficiencies, burgeoning circular debt and massive dependence on imported
fossil fuels.

The energy crisis had a direct impact on economic activity and hit lower-income citizens the hardest.

However, due to CPEC, the efficiency and productivity of the energy sector has increased and it has also brought investment to the country, “yet more needs to be done”, the state minister said in an interview with China Economic Net.

“The more efficiently we generate electricity, the more the price of electricity will gradually decrease,”
he said.

Malik highlighted that the solution to Pakistan’s problems is to continuously develop the power, gas and petroleum infrastructure.

“CPEC projects like Karot run-of-the-river project are very important for the national interest and security,” the minister noted.

He pointed to the significance of hydroelectric power stations as Pakistan has a body of water that flows through the Himalayas and down to the sea. In between, “there are many places where the government can set up hydroelectric power plants like Karot”.

“As you can see from Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam projects, after running for 20 to 25 years, the cost of generating electricity from these two is just the cost of operating a turbine,”
cited Malik.

Furthermore, the cost of new power plants, especially the hydropower ones, is very high, “but over the period of time, it is in our interest to use indigenous resources. Water flows here, we don’t even have to lose foreign exchange for it”.

In addition to the hydroelectric power plants, the minister also attached importance to other CPEC power projects.

“The problem we are facing in Pakistan at the moment is that we have to import fuel on which most of our power plants run. This import cost puts a heavy burden on our treasury. That is why we have been thinking for a long time that we should focus on all the assets that are being produced in the country,” he said.

Highlighting the indigenous resources, the state minister said Thar plays an important role in Pakistan’s energy scenario as a lot of projects are being implemented in the region where Chinese companies have invested heavily.

“We will generate additional energy from our own resources, through coal produced in the country,”
he affirmed.

“In Thar, at the mine mouth, where coal is being extracted, a number of plants can be set up, which will also lead to development in the region, increase electricity production in the country and we will be able to transmit from there,” Malik pointed out.

In addition to this, such a formation of energy cluster in Thar can lead to three things – improvement of the region, improvement of the country and improvement of the people living there.



Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2022.

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