Jun 092008

By Muhammad Bashir Chaudhry

The government has approved new projects to add 2200 mw to the existing energy system by April 2009 in order to reduce load shedding.

Other relief measures effective June 1, 2008 include: moving forward of clocks by one hour (GMT +6); closing of shops and markets by 9 pm; encouraging markets by changing weekly holidays from Sunday to Friday; suggesting industrial clusters to stagger weekly holidays; keeping billboards and neon signs disconnected; and switching off air-conditioners in government offices between 8 to 11 am.
And the power shortages are attributed mainly to factors such as low water in dams; overall low generation capacity; faults in generation plants/transmission or distribution systems; and inefficiencies in operation of power systems.

The main reasons for low installed generation capacity are the lack of sufficient financial resources and poor governance. Because of poor governance, inter-department and / or inter-provincial rivalries adversely affect planning and implementation of energy projects, development of appropriate policies or attainment of an ideal energy-mix.

Pakistan has not been able to fully exploit its enormous hydro potential, which could be enhanced by putting up additional generation projects at different locations where appropriate head was available on the same river or water stream. Ghazi Bhrotha is one such project set up down-stream Tarbela. Another similar plant is expected to come up down-stream Mangla shortly.

There is a long list of amendments to Power Policy 2002. The changes are listed separately and show that the old policy has lost much of its relevance. As the democratic government has taken over recently, it is hoped Power Policy 2008 will be issued incorporating the amendments made in the old policy and the measures for sustained developments of energy and power generation projects.

The new policy may not have much impact unless inefficiencies/wastage in the energy framework are tackled first through policy measures and good governance. It is feared that the prices ultimately charged from the customers are padded up at each stage due to inefficiencies/wastages which need to be minimised if not eliminated fully. There is need to neutralise the companies that take unfair advantages in the purchase, transport, processing, marketing or supply of energy products, in the form of deemed duty or bank charges, etc. Inefficiencies creep in the following four stages increasing unfairly the price per unit of energy:

* Bulk of the crude oil is imported. Its purchase and its transport to Karachi ports and then to refineries need to be investigated. Local crude is transported directly to oil refinery or in some cases crude is exported. The process has to be efficient.

* Are our refineries capable of extracting standard quantities of final products? What are the energy efficiencies of different sections of each refinery and how the results compare with the energy efficiencies of modern refineries? How the ex-refinery prices are determined for different products and the commission allowed to oil marketing companies ? Transparency in these matters should improve efficiency.

* Most of our thermal power plants are based on fuel oil produced locally and imported in large quantities. Import of fuel oil, its transportation to Karachi ports and then to power plants may involve inefficiencies which get reflected in the fuel oil price charged from the utilities.

Same is the case for supply of gas to the gas-based power plants. There may be inefficiencies in operation of power plants which are mostly old and not well-maintained. There are higher line losses and power thefts. These inefficiencies raise the customers’ electricity tariff.

* In order to reduce import bill, the government had allowed use of natural gas for power generation. Some of these plants are only simple cycle and cause waste of heat and energy. Even the combined cycle power plants may not achieve the electricity generation efficiencies found in the developed countries.

Power shortage is not the problem; rather it is only a symptom of bigger problems. The solution lies in adopting the ‘good governance’. Committed men are needed to manage energy and related areas. Without capacity building and dedicated teams of professionals in every field, shortages of power may not be overcome.

The country does not have the capacity to raise enough of foreign financial resources for meeting all our energy needs, adding additional power generation capacity. The money allocated for import of oil or setting up of power generation/ infrastructure projects has to be spent wisely.

The Long Term Credit Fund (earlier known as the Private Sector Energy Development Fund), administered by the National Bank of Pakistan may be upgraded into an energy and infrastructure bank, possibly on the pattern of India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited.

There has been a serious lack of research and development (R&D) in mastering new technologies and adopting more efficient fabrication techniques. We are obliged to import most of the energy processing plants but suffer from foreign exchange resource constraints.

The country should go for renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar thermal power, small hydro plants, thermal power plants using rice husk, waste wood, solid waste or agriculture residue as fuel. Use of more adapted technologies, increase in agriculture produce and growing of more forests would help ease the pressure on imported fuels. Introduction of affordable solar water heaters and cookers can free large quantity of gas for other important uses.

The government may devise policy framework to enable the utilities to buy electricity from small captive power producers.

Source: Daily Dawn, 9/6/2008

 Posted by at 11:59 am

 One Response to “Power shortage or poor governance in Pakistan?”

  1. NWFP and Sindh are responsible for shortage of electricity and water.

    Disease of Provincialism in Politicians of NWFP and Sindh is mainly responsible for power shortage mayhem and the resultant chaos in the society due to tormenting blackouts and long power outrages.
    Importance of Electricity Versus Wastage of Water for Feudals.
    Why opposition on generation of electricity by Kalabagh Dam in which no water is wasted but provide option of safe storage of water for future use. Electricity is the need of each and every minute and moment of human life, people can not tolerate outage of electricity for one hour while agriculture land can tolerate need of water even many weeks, but why importance to agriculture of few feudals and no importance to electricity which is the need of each and every citizens
    • Children weeps in the night due to high temperature and mosquitoes bite due to outage of electricity,
    • Students can not study in night due to outage of electricity.
    • Industry can not run without electricity.
    • Machinery can not run without electricity.
    • Surgeons can not operate without electricity.
    • A patient on life machine can not survive without electricity.
    • Even in agriculture can not use Tubewell without electricity.
    • Fertilizer can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Pesticide can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Sugar Mills,Cotton Mills,Flour Mills,Rice Mills can not run without electricity.
    Above points clearly indicates that use of water for generation of electricity is 1000 times better than wastage of water on land or in sea for few feudals, because water wasted in land or sea is not recoverable but water use for generation of electricity in Kalabagh Dam will be available for use for agriculture and Industry as it was suitable before generation of electricity and there will be no wastage of water.
    From all above points it is clear that NWFP and Sindh who are opposing the generation of electricity and preservation and safe storage of water in Kalabagh dam are criminals of humanity as well as of World.
    On one side Sindh is wasting River Indus water in sea but on other side making objection on use of water by other provinces for agriculture (Chasma Jehlum Link Canal) and Kalabagh dams for electricity generation.
    On one side Sindh is calcimining that there is rise of sea level and problem of land erosion and other side also advocating wastage of 10 million Acre feet water in sea to further raise the level of sea and will cause more land erosion.
    On one side Sindh is saying there is water logging and salinity problem in Thatta and Badin and on other side itself spreading and aggravating these problems with wastage of huge (13 Million Acres feet= 0NE CRORE Thirty Laks Acre Feet Water) Quantity of water for few thousands Acres of land in Thatta and Badin
    On one side Sindh is calaiming that there is rise of sea level due to global warming and other side also advocating generation of electricity from Thar coal which is the most polluted source of energy and main culprit of global warming and will pollute all land, air and water resources of Pakistan including River Indus.
    On one side Sindh is cultivating Rice crop in desert and there is always increase in agriculture out put in the end of year but on other side always crying that there is shortage of water while infact all rivers of Pakistan including Hub River of Balouchistan goes down towards Sindh and their is contineously increase in flow of water year by year.
    On one side Sindh always demanding fresh water but itself doing nothing for prevention of pollution and preservation of water. no single treatment plant is there, no desalination plant is there, on the contrary polluting river Indus water with salt mines and sea water and many lakes have been converted into useless lakes due to pollution.
    On one side Sindh makes claim on whole water of Indus but on other side victimizing this river by polluting with sea water,factories wastage and fertilizer, infact Indus water near Thatta and Badin is so much polluted and poisioned in Sindh that no one can use that for any purpose.
    On one side Sindh show they love river Indus,but on other side by wasting its water in sea and opposing any development project on River Indus, Province of Sindh is converting to River Indus into a Nullah and making this river useless for People of Pakistan and instead of preventing its wastage and diverting towards Karachi and coast of Makran,Sindh is wasting River Indus in the sea.
    As Sindh,Balochistan and Pukhtunkhwa are against Kalabagh Dam
    because as per Sindh LOGIC Thar Coal is better than Kalabagh as Kalabagh will emmit BLACK SMOKE and Thar Coal will emmit fresh air full of Oxygen.
    And as per Balouchistan Vision GAS and coal extracted from Balouchistan are one of the most clean source of energy and Kalabagh will pollute air and land resouces and people will drown in Kalabagh and no one is dying in the coal caves of Balochistan.
    And as per Frontier wisdom Royalty of Tarballa is so important that Pakistan can be broken for that but Kalabgh dam is not good looking as it is in Punjab.
    All provinces want Provincial autonomy but Punjab should open or close its canals , IIRIGATE ITS LAND AND construct Dams as per desire of other provinces and after asking from
    other provinces Because it is necessary for unity and prosperity of Pakistan as when there will be no agriculture,no electricity and no water then Pakistan will be more united and more prosperous.

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