Integrated planning sought for the energy value chain in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s energy sector has witnessed a significant transformation over the past five years, with power generation capacity increasing rapidly to over 39,000 megawatts by mid-2019.

The inclusion of two large RLNG-based power plants, a Thar coal-power project and imported coal-based power plants have led to a major shift in the energy mix, according to a report of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI). The OICCI launched its ‘OICCI Energy Report 2019’ on Wednesday, which is based on recommendations of 31 leading international energy companies operating in Pakistan, which are members of the chamber.

Despite a relatively fast-paced increase in the generation and transmission capacity, over 60 million Pakistanis do not have access to electricity from the grid, which not only impacts economic growth of the country but also has a social impact, stated the report.

On top of this, the mounting circular debt, in excess of Rs1.9 trillion, and the inability of distribution companies to arrest the ever-increasing technical and non-technical losses, continue to burden the national exchequer by an additional Rs40-50 billion annually.

Presenting the report, OICCI Secretary-General Abdul Aleem commented, “OICCI Energy Report 2019 includes a number of recommendations to streamline the oil and gas and power sectors.”

He said that for the upstream oil and gas exploration sector, the report recommends that besides the estimated 30 onshore blocks that may be available for bidding, offshore blocks should also be considered and about 5-10 blocks should be offered every three to six months, “so that there is a steady flow of new acreage to accelerate indigenous E&P activities”.

For the downstream oil refining and marketing sector, the OICCI recommends that motor gasoline and diesel front and back-end prices should be deregulated.

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