Conversion of 4,500 megawatts of electricity generation from expensive furnace oil plants to those run on (imported) coal was one of the five points the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf presented on Tuesday as its solution to the country’s energy crisis.
The other points were: governance reform, clearance of accumulated debt, reduction in transmission and distribution losses from 20 per cent of generation to 10 per cent and improvement in rate of recovery of power bills from 88 per cent to 95 per cent.
PTI energy policy incharge Jahangir Tareen presented these solutions at a press conference on Tuesday. He said a government committed to radically changing the status quo could bring about these reforms and prevent the power crises from exacerbating.
Tareen said once in power, the PTI would add 4,000 MW of hydel power to the national grid in five years. This, he said, would be achieved by resumption of dialogue with Central Asian countries to import power from them.
About the natural gas crisis, Tareen said the PTI would increase production by up to 2,000 mmcfd by facilitating and incentivising investment in the sector.
He said the PTI government would set up an Infrastructure Development and Finance Institution (IDFI) to assist investors with financing energy generation projects. He said the IDFI would play a central role in channeling investments of overseas Pakistanis into the power sector.
He said once in power rather than quick fixes, the party would put forth a comprehensive energy policy to overcome the crisis.
Tareen said the PPP government lacked the will to solve the power crisis. “They have failed to solve the electricity crisis despite wasting over a trillion rupees in subsidies and doubling the tariffs,” he said.
The singular dependence on imported furnace oil for generation of electricity had increased the import bill from $3 billion to $12 billion over the decade, Tareen said. He said if the current state of affairs in the management and planning of the energy sector continued, the gap between the supply and demand of electricity could touch 11,000 MW over the next five years.
The deficit in demand and supply of natural gas could rise from 1,600 mmcfd to 3,500 mmcfd over the same period and the fuel import bill from $12billion to between $60 and $120 billion by 2025, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.
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