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ISLAMABAD: Coal Fuelled Power Generation Conference 2012

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 ‘Energy crisis has slashed GDP growth by 2-3%’

* ARL CEO emphasises urgent need for accelerating efforts for development of indigenous, cheaper energy resources

By Ijaz Kakakhel (Daily Times report)

Pakistan is faced with crippling energy crisis, which has resulted in slashing gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 2.0 to 3.0 percent.

This was stated by Attock Gen Limited (AGL) and Attock Refinery Limited Chief Executive Officer Adil Khattak during the first Coal Fuelled Power Generation Conference 2012. The conference was organised by AGL on Wednesday.

Transformation of the energy mix for power generation from hydel rich to thermal over the last three decades and decreasing indigenous natural gas availability has resulted in an overwhelming dependence on expensive imported furnace oil, he said. The demand and supply gap which is currently exceeding 6,000 megawatts (MW) is likely to double in near future.

Imminent speakers, top government officials and experts from diverse fields of energy sector and industry participated in this conference.

The aim of this conference was to develop understanding of investors’ needs by all levels of decision makers and to provide meaningful networking opportunities with leading industry leaders and policy makers in Pakistan regarding use of coal as fuel in power generation.

He emphasised on the urgent need for accelerating the efforts for the development of indigenous and cheaper energy resources. Khattak said that Pakistan is gifted with unlimited human and natural resources, but we failed to capitalise on these resources. Coal is fuelling more than 50 percent of power generation in the neighbouring countries China and India and 40 percent worldwide but less than 1.0 percent in Pakistan in spite of being blessed with huge resources of more than 175 billion tonnes in Thar only. Although neglected in the past, coal has lately shot up to dominate majority of energy related discussions and debates in the country. Investors and project developers today are looking at policymakers, scientists and technologists for providing conducive environment supported by attractive incentives, reliable, efficient, safe and cost effective solutions for coal-based power generation, he said.

He urged the participants to make the most of this truly unique opportunity by committing to engage in an open and honest dialogue with a sole purpose of supporting and providing sustainable and efficient solutions to problems confronting coal energy projects for the bright future that Pakistan deserves.

During the one day conference 10 papers were read with topics ranging from an overview of coal consumption in Pakistan, efficient transportation of coal to power plants, production of high quality motor fuel from syngas, government policy, risk coverage and regulatory regime for coal-based projects, utilisation of indigenous coal for power generation, coal versus pet coke and other fossil fuels for power generation, coal – the present solution for Pakistan, engineering technologies for power generation based on high pressure coal-fired boilers, coal power plants and use of steam turbines, and transforming existing challenges to opportunities.

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