Planning ahead: Nawaz for fast-tracking power generation

Published: August 2, 2013
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif receives a briefing on the Pakistan Power Park at Gadani, alongside Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan. PHOTO: NNI

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif receives a briefing on the Pakistan Power Park at Gadani, alongside Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan. PHOTO: NNI

QUETTA / KARACHI: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has emphasised having a 25 to 30-year plan to not only cover its current power shortfall but to also generate 50,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to meet its future needs. He was speaking to reporters during his visit to Pakistan Power Park, Gadani, and Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleum in Karachi.

“The electricity shortfall in the country demands that we go ahead in power generation without wasting a second,” he said, adding that the billion dollar project in Gadani will provide jobs to the people of undeveloped areas, along with benefiting the whole country.

Nawaz said that while the government had resolved the issue of circular debt, it could rise again if difficult decisions are not taken.

“After payment of debts, the country was able to generate 1,700MW of additional power. A total of 16,170MW of electricity was recorded on Wednesday, something that has never happened in the history of Pakistan,” the prime minister remarked, adding that the current electricity demand was 19,000MW.

“The government has to overcome a shortfall of 3,000MW and also make policies for the next 25 to 30 years, to meet its future needs,” he said.

The prime minister instructed to extend the eight projects of Pakistan Power Park to 10, in order to generate 6,600MW of electricity. The first project will be installed by the government itself.

Nawaz said that Chinese investors wanted to set up four projects in the park, which will also be set up in Thar.

“Although the currently available coal in Thar is of low grade, we can bring in machinery to generate power from the same coal,” he said.

Talking about the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, Nawaz said the project will produce 950MW of electricity, but added that it was regrettable that due to poor policies in the past, its cost had escalated from Rs45 billion to Rs250 billion.

The prime minister also announced to build a six-lane motorway from Karachi to Lahore.

Speaking about Kashgar-Gawadar Trade Corridor between Pakistan and China, the premier said that small industrial zones will be set up all along the route and it will be facilitated with highway and railway system that will attract investment from China, as the cost of production in Pakistan was still low. He said that construction work on Diamer Bhasha Dam, Dasu Dam and Bunji Dam will soon be started and will add to the power production of the country.

Speaking about the law and order situation in Karachi, Nawaz said that law and order is the responsibility of the provincial government.

“We are not indifferent to Karachi’s situation and it will take time to devise a comprehensive policy. He added that he had asked the chief ministers of the four provinces to form committees on law and order situation, in order to give recommendation for devising a policy on militancy.

To a question regarding Pak-India relations the premier said, “We want to have good relations with India. It is our wish to boost trade with India and resolve all issues including Kashmir.”

He also appreciated the efforts of Fakhruddin G Ebrahim for holding clean elections in the country and wished that he would continue his work as the chief election commissioner. He also refuted rumours of governor rule in Sindh and asked for joint efforts of all the political parties for the development of the country.

The prime minister’s delegation included Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and others. They were welcomed by Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch at Gadani.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Aug 2, 2013 - 3:03AM

    No mention of solar park or subsidy for installation roof top solar panels.

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  • Surprise
    Aug 2, 2013 - 3:08AM

    by slogans he fooled masses and with promises he will continue to do so.

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  • ahmad
    Aug 2, 2013 - 3:19AM

    i am so excited to hear that all three major dams (Diamer Basha, Dasu and Bunji) are on top of government prioritity list. Hope government starts work on them without further delay

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  • A Pakistani
    Aug 2, 2013 - 5:18AM

    We are happy that the country is now on the right track of economic development, after a decade of misgovernance by PPP and its predecessor NRO-benefactor Musharraf.
    The days are not very far when Pakistan will emerge as Asian Tiger InshaAllah.
    Long Live Pakistan!

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  • Middle Class People
    Aug 2, 2013 - 5:22AM

    I am glad that he knows that simply paying of the circular debt once is not enough and that it WILL come back if institutional changes are not made.

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  • Humza
    Aug 2, 2013 - 6:34AM

    @Surprise: I would rather be “fooled” by the completed projects done by Nawaz Sharif like the motorways he created than the nothingness slogans created under Zardari and Musharraf. Some people will ignore the obvious reality that Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif have proven that they can deliver for Pakistan like they have already done in the past. I only hope that they continue to do more of the same. I am sure the electricity shortfall will be settled in a few years.

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  • Muntazir
    Aug 2, 2013 - 8:20AM

    And when this sweet dam dream ends, only then people of Pakistan will get up to know that the much important IP gas pipeline projects has vaporized.

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  • Aug 2, 2013 - 9:25AM

    Whatever the positive step taken by any party should be appreciated regardless of favoritism.

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  • Razi
    Aug 2, 2013 - 11:55AM

    But there is no word in the new Energy Policy about reduction of Corruption in WAPDA/PEPCO/NTDC/DISCOs; which is the only cause of power crisis. No theft/Kunda can ever take place without the connivance of WAPDA/DISCOS employees; not even one kunda. The Mush Army when heading DISCOS used uniform to get the Kundas disconnected but failed. No police can un-Kunda. It is one the CEO of DISCOS that can undo Kunda and theft. Massive over payment to IPPs another reason for high tariff but no word in the New Energy Policy, an estimated Rs 285 Billion overpaid. Cartels playing havoc in supplies, some Rs 125 Billion pilferage. Keep counting. Theft of Fuel Oil by GENCOS and IPPS around Rs 200 Billion. The Iran-Pak pipeline will always be in pipeline till our leaders have money in Swiss/Jeddah/NYC bank accounts. But the Energy Policy has nothing to say about these except raise tariff to take from the poor and give to ‘you know who’………

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  • Obaid
    Aug 2, 2013 - 4:47PM

    Unfortunately this is not a good news for me. I don’t believe that projects like these would help eradicate load shedding. During the election days, the entire country was receiving electricity 24hrs continuous. Where was that coming from?

    In my opinion it simply means that the powerhouses are not operating to their full and they will not do so in future also. Projects like these would be launched, tenders would be passed, contractors would be facilitated and a deadline would be given which easily spans upto years. When that time comes, the population would have increased undoubtedly and then there would again be a shortfall of many hundred mega watts due to population increase.

    So you people who think that governments like these can put an end to it, keep dreaming and keep living in the dark. There is no end to this game.

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  • Sabir Cheema
    Aug 2, 2013 - 5:06PM

    @Surprise: Please open your heart and atleast appreciate whatever is good for the country and not for your ego

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  • stone age
    Aug 2, 2013 - 6:28PM

    with all these efforts Govt should set zero % duty on solar panels …. so that we can turn our homes on solar system , this step will surely facilitate govt to resolve their power issues.

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  • Adnan
    Aug 2, 2013 - 7:41PM

    First it was solving the energy crisis in 90 days, then during his tenure and now a 25-30 year plan. Why not just admit he is going to do nothing like the previous govt?

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  • A Pakistani
    Aug 3, 2013 - 4:57AM

    @ Adnan
    What has made you claim the end of energy crisis in 90 days? The loadshedding has actually reduced (through payment of circular debt due to which the system was choked) in the country during the last one month.
    The work on various power projects has been resumed which was impeded by the previous government. Such examples include Nandipur Power Project, Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project etc.
    And then the government has initiated work on various new projects that will add to another 2000MW into the national grid.
    The Law making electricity & gas theft (kunda system) has been made a criminal offence with heavy fines & punishment. Recently, the power supply to Bannu grid was suspended since more than 90% of the electricity was stolen, leaving the recovery rate at merely 10%.
    All these steps are definitely reducing the burden of loadshedding..
    The Energy Policy clearly stipulates that Supply will outstrip Demand in the next 3 to 4 years which will completely eliminate loadshedding.
    Otis always advisable to do some research before posting comments.

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