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PAK ENERGY

PAK ENERGY

To answer is the status of Pakistan energy sector, is as transparent as the current regime in power. We still do not have a ministry dedicated to it, however we do have the Ministry of Water and Power and a Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, both of which are poles apart and deliver what we have so little off at a habitant price. So what is wrong with all the party posturing of ridding us of the energy crisis?

Lately, the current regime whose leader has been claimed by SCP as fooling the people since long, state that we have a surplus of energy. No this is not a joke, but what the ex-Federal Minister of petroleum and Natural Resources, who now is Prime Minister acting on behalf of the deposed Don (As claimed and titled as by a SCP Judge) and certainty, not on behalf of the people of Pakistan. For loads shedding continues and the system for provision of it is weakened further, due to the dumb, no criminal polices made by it, which just increased our external and internal debt, reliance on imported fuels and a terrible energy mix picture.

Our per capita electricity consumption is around 540 KWH, which is around 5 times less than the world and 10 times less than what it should be, for the economy to grow as per our potential and size. So if one is to believe that our bad energy mix is as stated close to 20,000 MW, whereas it should have been 200,000 MW. We still have a long way to go and that way is to not follow the dumb/criminal current policy in this vital sector.

World over focus is on renewable energy sources and the capital costs of it have fallen drastically, but this Government of low end criminal morons have forced generation based on imported fuels, which at least to my mind is totally based on milking the system by putting up plants based on imported coal, RLNG and diesel. As if we do not have coal or gas of our own. They have totally neglected the massive wind, geo thermal, solar, biomass and hydel potential, which we are blessed within abundance.

For wind can give us upto 50,000 MW, Geo-thermal which is totally neglected can give us upto 50,000 MW, Biomass including agricultural waste and Municipal Solid Waste upto 20,000, solar can give upto 20,000 and Hydel can give upto 40,000. Add to it the existing pittance which is a terrible energy mix.

Which when looked under Central Power Purchase Authority figures, our current generation mix is 64% thermal, 30% hydel and 6% nuclear/others. We generated 112,000 GWh of electricity in the last year, where in gas, RLNG and Furnace oil/diesel accounted for 60%. While hydel was 27%. Renewable, including wind, solar, bagasse accounted to close to 3%.

The current Don lead regime does not factor in the diesel/gas operated generators ranging from 1 KWH to 4 MW which according to our estimate is around 20,000 MW. These are inefficient units and are all imported and either run an imported diesel or what is called Marine Oil. Like as in many low-end underperforming economics these generation sets (Lycips) have an economy of their own, besides a growing cartel/lobby, like the ones which keep policy makers in the capital happy and content to allow this totally go unreported, un measured and crippling our economy.

What we urgently need is a forensic and it of the performance of the two federal ministries making a hash of our most vital need. To merge both and have a separate ministry of mining or simply let the provinces deal with its natural resources. Accountability is a dire need not just in this sector, but all, however, we cannot afford to lose another day in continuing with the recipe for disaster this low-end level of leadership, now proven to be a bunch of thugs to continue to go on the path, which they choose. For their crimes are not just limited to faulty planning of generation, but transmission and distribution. It actually is a case of how not to make polices and govern.

As of now, as a reality check, tariff for fossil fuel electricity cannot complete with renewable sources, due to the drastic dropping rates for renewable energy production. This shameless government awarded solar tariff upto 17-14 cents for solar. Now has dropped to 6 cents. Just a few years ago NEPRA gave an upfront tariff of 14.66 cents per KWH for wind, which is now hovering between 5-6 cents. However NBPRA gave 6.7 cents earlier this year.

This favored sources i.e. RLNG/Local gas, furnace oil (FO) and coal, ignore how high it cost earlier, the current price tag hovers 6.75-7.35 and 10+cents per KWH respectively. Even run of the river projects seek levelized tariffs of 9+cents and hence a lot more expensive than wind and solar. Geo thermal (underground heat harnessed as steam) and bio-mass (Agricultural Waste and Municipal Solid Waste) still do not even factor in, as obviously will have much lower tariff on a levelized basis. The advantage of wind and solar in the peak summer season is totally ignored at the altar of generation based on fossil fuels near where the heart and brain is of the current regime.

Next door Hindustan alternative renewable sources produces 15% of its electricity. Solar, wind and biomass produce 50,000 MW. Whereas the world today has 11% of its electricity being produced from renewable sources. New players have initiated a bid in Saudi Arabia solar projects under 2 cents/KWH. Turkey is offering under 4 cents for wind.

Its pertinent to note that the difference of each cent of tariff, actually means 1-1.5 billion $ every year for our entire power generation base. So in light of all the basic points explained above, we can see how criminal and disastrous were and are the policies were and are being pursued. Just see how two imported coal based 1320 MW power plants were awarded to its known cronies, so that under a no question asked method, scrapped 660 MW unit x 4 were brought in and huge kickbacks made. Off how one is situated in Port Qasim and other in Sahiwal, both plants are absolute ecological disasters and actually totally non-viable.

The three 3600MW units based on imported RLNG are located for from the port, near Lahore nictitating pipe line expense and based on commercially untested hardware, which were heralded as a great achievement of the Federal and Punjab Govt. Let the people know how much electricity are they producing and what are the delays in it. The Nandipur fiasco, the Gaddani rollback, KANUP II & III are best left alone as all are costing an arm and a leg, but the current regime priority is save Don from going to prison and let his not so talented and touted for shame governance continue and Alice in wonderland daughter to be made Queen.

Somebody, somewhere needs to say enough is enough, especially those bodies who live and breathe off the national exchequer, who once a while gives us poetic comfort in verdict once or twice a year, to see and stop becoming the fools that we all are as the hapless, stressed and numbed/dumbed out Pakistanies. Please wake up and let those who understand the challenges be on the drawing boards and get on with putting the energy sector on the right track and direction. For God sake do not let us sink further in the abyss. B Pakistani.

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