National consensus was need of the hour to explore Pakistan’s vast energy corridors: Experts


Karachi. March 27: Variety of issues especially the power crisis could be resolved through unity and national consensus. The energy crisis calls for prompt exploration of new venues for energy and utilization of explored energy with national responsibility.

Jamaat-e Islami (JI) Pakistan former Chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed expressed these views while addressing a seminar on “Energy Crisis and its solution” held Tuesday at a local hotel in Karachi. The Centre for Discussion and Solutions, Islamabad commonly known as ‘Idara-e Fikr-o Amal’ had organsied the seminar.

Experts from energy sectors, businessmen, scholars, intellectuals and representatives from local media attended the seminar.

Ahmed said that although the energy crisis had inflicted colossal loss on the country but the brain drain was more serious a problem that was directly linked to the ongoing power crisis because the power crisis had led to squeeze the trade and economic activities and shutting of the industrial units, which escalated the rate of unemployment. The educated and learned citizens that could play their vital role in country’s prosperity had no choice other than to fly abroad for livelihood.

Exploring new venues of energy would help stop brain drain and country’s shaking economic profile. There was a dire need that the political leadership of the country should sit together while setting their political affiliations aside and form a consensus over the ways for resolving the variety of crisis especially the worst of the energy crisis, he suggested.

While explaining the purpose of holding seminars on variety of issues, Ahmed said that he wanted to see national consensus for drawing a national policy to address the issues, he said adding that the country had a potential to produce 40,000MW of electricity through different cheaper means as some national scientists had disclosed they could boost the present 800MW capacity of producing the electricity from the Hydral means to 8000MW very shortly provided that they were allowed to proceed.

He said that there was a dire need, too, to establish smaller dams, promote solar and wind energy means. the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipe Line project has reached on Pakistani borders and the government had only to connect it from local Gas infrastructure. However, Pakistan had enough potential for producing energy that the energy crisis could be easily resolved at the domestic level.

Addressing the seminar, Pakistan People’s party senator Taj Haider said that the government was pursuing a strategy for reducing dependence on foreign countries for meeting country’s energy needs and to promote domestic means of energy.

He said that the 18th constitutional amendment had ensured provinces would use the energy they would produce till their needs for energy were completely met and then the remaining amount of energy could be passed on to others. However, Sindh was using only 38% of domestically produced energy while it produced 70% as total. The rest was passed on to other provinces despite the fact that the fertilizer units, power producing companies had suffered a lot and were compelled to shed load.

He said that the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipe Line project had cost $1.5 billion and despite the fact that Sindh needed no gas from that project, it was to add an equal share to the total cost of the project.

He informed that many new rigs of gas have been explored in Sindh worth 850 mmcfd while the wind energy corridors in Sindh were of around 40000MW. A Chinese firm was working on hydral projects in Sindh and by Dec 2012, 2000MW would be added to the national grid while another 2000MW would be added next year.

He said that the ration of gas leakage from pipe lines was at its apex in Punjab, which totalaed to some 450 mmcfd. On the other hand, Sindh offered Punjab to make use of Sindh strategy for controlling gas leakages but to no avail.

On the issue of premonitions related to the Thar Coal Project, he said that some 3000 cusec water was required to keep the project operational, which should be resolved through taking the close cycle system in account as the water level in Indus River was below the dead level. The production of water from Thar Coal Projects would suffice to fertilize some 15000 land to produce crops.

Thar Coal Project managing Director Dr Muhammad Shabbir in his address said that due to the energy crisis, Pakistan was inflicted with heavy loss of Rs230 billion every year while 400000 people have so far been rendered jobless. The Thar Coal Project had a covered area of 9600 square kilometers while the coal reserves were estimated to be 175 billion tons, which were equal to 175 billion barrels of oil

Dr Qazi Ahmed Kamal in his address said that Sindh was facing 200 mmcfd gas shortage while it was 600 mmcfd in Punjab. The fertilizer sector was consuming 800 mmcfd and only 18% citizens had the facility of natural gas while only 40% had been electrified.

He said that in order to overcome the energy crisis, government should not be depended alone but the private sector should also come forward to establish power plants.

Energy expert Masood Abdali in his address said that Pakistan’s oil and gas infrastructure was more advanced than United States of America. He said that digging of rigs was dated prior to inventions in United States and before Pakistan was created, around 66 oil and gas wells were operating in the country. So far, 232 wells have been dug, which were all operational.

He said that Pakistan’s daily oil and gas production was 66327 barrels and 4041 mmcfd respectively.

He said that Pakistan’s conventional gas resources were of 30 tcf (trillion Cubic Feet) and the unconventional gas resources were 235 mmcfd. The sedimentary areas of the country were in Balochistan and Sea by 35% and 20% respectively. The gas shortage in next 6-8 years would jump to 6.5 bcf (Billion Cubic Feet). So far only 30% of the sedimentation areas were explored in the country, he said.

Shoaib Farooqui, an energy expert also shared his presentation at the seminar. senior journalist Shamim Ur Rehman, Federal Urdu University Prof. Tauseef Ahmed Khan, Asif Luqman Qazi, Irfan Aligi, Sarfarz Ahmed, Zahid Saeed and representatives of businessmen community were present.


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