Power sector has over $ 100 bln investment potential: Omar Ayub

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan on Monday said that that power sector of the country has the potential of over $ 100 billion investment.

Speaking at inaugural ceremony of NEPRA Energy Week here, the minister said electricity generation side had $ 40 billion and $ 20 billion each distribution and transmission investment potential. New and latest technology was being introduced in energy sector of the country, he added.

Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan said energy sector was very important as it was affecting all citizen of the country.

The country economy also depended upon availability of affordable and sustainable energy, he added.

The minister said the incumbent government was paying special focus on availability of affordable and sustainable energy to the consumers. Power purchase agreements signed during past governments’ tenures were looked as the consumers had to bear the burden of capacity payment, he added.

Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan said currently 70 per cent of total energy was being generated through imported fuel, resulting spending precious foreign exchange reserves. “We are dealing with these issues confronted to us,” he said.

However, the minister said that the government had decided to generate 70 to 80 per cent energy through indigenous resources including Renewable, hydel, coal and nuclear by 2030 in order to ease pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

Under the strategy, the share of clean and green Renewable Energy (RE) and hydel energy would be enhance to 30 per cent each by 2030 while 10 per cent each would be added through coal and nuclear resources, he added.

Similarly, the minister said efforts were also being made to manufacture equipments like wind turbines and solar panels in the country. Speaking on the occasion, Chinese ambassador Yao Jing said the power sector in Pakistan had witnessed visible changes during the tenure of incumbent government. Investment under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) would have positive impact on Pakistan’s economy, he added. He said overall structural reforms were taking place in Pakistan adding that energy sector reforms would be fundamental for promoting  exports. He said the Chinese government would continue cooperation with Pakistan in agriculture, science and technology. Situation due to Coronavirus was improving in China and projects under CPEC would not affect due to the virus, he added.

He said the CPEC would open new era of development and prosperity in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa said that CPEC was a reality which would be carried forward.

He said most projects particularly in energy sector under CPEC phase-1 had already been completed adding that all projects of its Phase-2 would also be completed during the stipulated time frame.

He said Coronavirus would not effect pace of work on CPEC projects. After the completion of Phase-1 of CPEC, phase-2 was being launched, he said.

Under Phase-2 of CPEC, cooperation would be enhance in industrial, agri and science and technology sectors, Asim Saleem said. He said expeditious work had already being carried out of Western route of CPEC besides taking pragmatic steps to take benefit from Thar coal. He said the people would soon reap fruits of CPEC projects. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman WAPDA Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain said around 4600 MW cheap hydel electricity would be added to the system by 2025. “As many as 16000 MW hydel electricity will be added to the national grid system by 2030 followed by  additional 18,400 MW by 2050,” he said.

He said work has already been launched on Mohamand dam and Dasu Hydropower power project Phase-1.

He expressed the hope that the projects would be completed by 2024.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Tauseef H Farooqi said that energy week was being organized aimed at devising concrete suggestions of all stakeholders for addressing issues confronted to the power sector.

He said we had to pay attention to bring improvement in power sector. NEPRA was taking steps for investment in power sector besides protecting consumers interests, he added.