FAISALABAD: Criticising the massive power load-shedding and concerns over rising electricity shortfall, the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has urged the government to supply an additional 200 millions of cubic feet per day (of gas) to the Punjab-based textile industry.
The industry bargained that the additional power would help it gain a competitive edge in the international market.
PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood and Vice Chairman Adil Tahir said on Thursday that due to the severe electricity and gas shortage in Punjab, the industry is suffering huge losses. If the problem was not resolved immediately, all efforts to promote industrialisation and job creation will prove fruitless, they added.
The industrial sector is the main victim of the massive load-shedding despite the fact that business community fulfils its obligations by paying taxes. The association said the government was just making it more difficult for the business community by raising the electricity tariff.
“Instead of controlling line losses and making arrangements to stop electricity thefts, the authorities are busy in worsening the situation,” said PTEA. “If immediate measures are not taken, nothing could stop the industrial wheel from coming to a grinding halt.”
Renewable energy is the way to go
The PTEA chairman was of the view that Pakistan is endowed with plenty of untapped renewable energy resources. There are many options for the government to explore in its bid to resolve the power crisis, stressing that one of these was to go for nuclear power generation. Currently about 436 nuclear power plants, with a cumulative net output of 370,326 megawatt (MW) electricity, are operating in 31 countries, while Pakistan has only 1.7% share of nuclear power in its total energy mix.
Mahmood also stressed upon the government to speed up the construction of nuclear power plants, which are cost competitive, safe and reliable.
Meanwhile, the vice chairman added that another option for the government is to exploit the huge potential of hydropower generation. “Only Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has the potential of generating 50,000MW hydropower energy and the government should build small dams there. For this purpose, the private sector should be encouraged by simplifying the process of establishing micro-power stations in potential areas,” he concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2014.