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Pakistan's Power Grid Looking Brighter

EconomyApr 17, 2014 10:00AM ET
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By Meagan Clark - Pakistan’s national energy grid will add more than a dozen power projects, including two dams and a coal mine, increasing electricity capacity in one of the worst shortages in the country’s history.

Pakistan’s power sector can generate about 16,000 MW, short of requirements by about 5,000 MW and worsening as demand grows, projected to swell to 26,000 MW by 2020, according to Pakistan’s 2013 National Power Policy report.

Capacity in some Pakistani industries, like the fertilizer industry, fell to nearly 50 percent in the last six months, forcing interruptions to gas supplies and closures. Importing expensive energy over the past few years, when the country had the capacity to produce it, has eroded Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

Work is underway in advanced stages at Gaddani Power Project and two power projects at Bin Qasim, Pakistan Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told Parliament in Islamabad on Wednesday, Pakistan Today reported. He also said work has begun on Thar Coal Project, which includes a mining and three power projects that will begin producing electricity within three years.

China has agreed to ten power projects at Thar, Iqbal added. Chinese banks offered to finance up to $900 million of the $1.2 billion for the Thar coal in December, asking the Pakistani government for a loan guarantee. London-based Oracle Coalfields, the owner and developer of the coal plant project, expects to finalize detailed agreements with two Chinese partners, CAMCE and SEPCO, by the end of the year.

Two hydroelectric projects, the Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams, will also help lift Pakistan from its energy shortage and usher in economic progress, analyst Nasir Jamal told Radio Pakistan Thursday. 

Pakistan's Power Grid Looking Brighter
 

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