Call for emergency to resolve power crisis

Experts have emphasised the need for introducing more independent power producers to curb hour-long unannounced power outages across the country. Speakers expressed these views at the 6th International Power Conference and Exhibition on Emerging Energy Mix for Sustainable Power Generation. The Sindh Youth Affairs Department and National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) organised the event. “The independent power producers (IPPs) can generate more energy with more efficiency as compared to public sector, however, government’s facilities and encouragement is required in this regard,” they added.

IPPs Advisory Council chairman Abdullah Yousuf said that the power shortage has become a major issue as the country’s population has increased at a high pace. He said it is the need of the hour that effective steps should be taken to produce alternative power like wind and solar energy.

He said that power producers were facing several problems like high cost of generation, governance issue, fuel adjustment, adding that the government should provide incentive to IPPs for generating power in peace. India, China and Russia are generating huge quantity of alternative energy but Pakistan is still lagging behind in this regard.

“The coal power generation in the country should be boosted as it is cheap. There is a need to revise NEPRA tariff while subsidies and bill collection issues are also hitting power sector hard,” he said. He called for creation of energy ministry to resolve power and other issues amicably.

He said that privatisation of Discos and Gencos was also mandatory as the government could not tackle all the issues itself. “We should rehabilitate Gencos for power conservation. It is the private sector which is boosting production,” he added.

FPCCI president Zubair Malik said that electricity is important for development, adding that steps should be taken to generate alternative energy resources to meet power needs of the country. Current debt, governance, price adjustment and other issues be faced by energy sector should be resolved on priority basis, he said. It is private sector that is doing business effectively as compared to the government.

He called for providing power supply to industries for their sustainability and economic stability of the country. “We’ll not allow industries shift,” he said. Alternative Energy Development Board CEO Arif Alauddin said that their four wind energy projects would serve as a model for other projects, as the pace of development of another 400-600 MW would get accelerated. These wind power projects are expected to achieve financial target during the current year.

He said that two wind power projects-FFCEL (49.5MW) and Zorlu Enerji (56.4MW) have already been completed. FFCEL has been inaugurated and the Zorlu Enerji is ready for the formal launch. Arif urged the government to attract the sugary industry owners to setup Co-Generation Bagasse/Biomass based power plants. Recently, the ECC has approved the ‘Policy Framework for Power Co-Generation, 2013 (Biogas/Biomass), to be administrated by the Alternative Energy Development Board.

Biogas is environmentally-friendly and can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s power sector. Other benefits included precious savings in foreign exchange spent on import of furnace oil. US $500 million can be saved by consumers in fuel cost if 2,000 MW is generated by cheaper biogas instead of HFO. Foreign exchange savings for the country through the use of this indigenous fuel instead of imported HFO will be over US $ 1billion annually, he added

Abbas Sajid, Renewable Energy Association of Pakistan (REAP) chairman, said that his organisation was imparting training to the people in power sector and striving for overcoming power shortages and finding its alternative solutions. He stressed the need to boost renewable energy production in the country. “We as a nation should come up with concrete measures to foster power generation for socio-economic uplift,” he said.