Pakistan eyes $58 billion investment in power sector till 2022

A total of 4,000 MW of LNG-based power plants would become operational by mid-2017 while $2 billion had been invested in LNG terminals and pipelines.

Power cuts are common in Pakistan because of electricity shortages. (Reuters)

Pakistan government has claimed that it has lined up USD 58 billion investment in its troubled power sector till 2022 and hoped that the power crisis in the country would end by 2018.

This was stated by the Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif yesterday at a briefing organised by Prime Minister Office on the completion of three years of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, the Dawn newspaper reported today.

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Asif said USD 58 billion worth of investment in the power sector was expected for generation of 30,948 MW by 2022 and the power crisis would completely wipe out in 2018.

Power Secretary Younas Dagha said under the 10,400 MW portfolio of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor 8,630 MW were currently under execution phases.

Asif said wastage of energy was a serious issue in Pakistan and the government was “getting absolutely no support from the provinces including from Punjab for energy conservation and closure of markets at sunset”.

He said that Pakistan was blessed with a lot of sunshine, but the nation was doing business in electric lights. “This is sad,” he said.

Power cuts are common in Pakistan because of electricity shortages.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project was still facing two major issues to take off.

Explaining this, he said international sanctions against Iran had eased but “dollar transactions are still not allowed”, making it difficult to have normal business transactions with Tehran.

Responding to a question why such restrictions did not work against the European Union (EU), Abbasi said the EU had only a one-off transaction with Iran while the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project was a long-term arrangement for 20 years which could be affected in case of application of snap-back clause.

He said the discussions with Iran were in progress on these issues and hopefully the project would go through and be completed by June 2018.

The project could start with 250mmcfd of gas flows in June 2018 and then gradually go up to 750mmcfd.

In reply to a question on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project, the minister said Turkmenistan had taken upon itself to deal with security of the pipeline in Afghanistan and the project envisaging 1,325mmcfd of gas to Pakistan could materialise in January 2020.

He said even if both the IP and Tapi projects materialised, Pakistan’s energy needs would not be overcome because domestic gas supplies were about 4,000 mmcfd against a demand of about 8,000 mmcfd. Therefore, import of liquefied natural gas was “the only short-to medium-term solution of Pakistan’s energy crisis as it was sustainable, flexible and scalable”.

Abbasi said the government had a target to inject 2,000 mmcfd of LNG in the system by mid-2018 to “wipe out loadshedding”.

A total of 4,000 MW of LNG-based power plants would become operational by mid-2017 while USD 2 billion had been invested in LNG terminals and pipelines.

Currently, 400 mmcfd of LNG was being supplied to the system which would increase to 1200 mmcfd in June next year.

By 2018, Pakistan will have surplus gas in the system and all consumers including power plants, fertilisers, industry, CNG, captive power plants and housing colonies would have gas available without any problem.

To meet this challenge, Rs 850 billion worth of gas pipeline network and four LNG terminals at a cost of Rs 120 billion were in different stages of implementation, the minister said.


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