Government working to reduce electricity demand, supply gap

Karachi,  Government intends to do debt swap with Independent Power Producers IPPs soon so that they have more space to operate and also attempt to change business by bringing in private sector through hiring IPPs with efficiency at bottom line with new Board of Directors of generation companies offering them investment to enhance capacity, said Federal Water & Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar.

“The demand is growing and rental power is not filing the gap. Federal Budget for next fiscal year 2012-13 will help reduce gap between demand and supply of energy in the country. There is imperative need to meet needs of services and industrial sectors.

“The government is working on short term power projects and given new tariff policy upfront,” Naveed Qamar said at dinner hosted by Chairman, Pakistan Japan Business Forum Abdul Kader Jaffer on Sunday night here attended by leading industrialists, businessmen and Japan’s Consul General S. Sato.

Minister spoke of government efforts to reduce power shortage in the country and plans to meet future needs. He said there has been encouraging response from China, Russia, South Korea, France and Japan who have shown interest to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector.

“We have abundant coal reserves and look for investors to set up new coal power plants for which an upward tariff for cheap coal has been announced. Priority is in hydel power generation and will now also involve private sector. Future in energy sector is bright and will take time, he noted.

He said Pakistan over used its gas reserves. However, government is fully committed to Pakistan, Iran gas pipeline project as well as gas pipeline project from Turkmenistan. “More modern expertize is needed to tap gas reserves in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA and set up power plants. There is need to add 4000 to 5000MW to meet energy demand,” he said.

Naveed Qamar said many investors have come to set up wind farms to bring quick energy. He said government intends to give free energy saver bulbs to every household in the country from end-March, April, 2012. He called for early closure of shops to conserve energy.

Kader Jaffer in his remarks urged the government to give priority to end load shedding and ensure supply of energy to trade, industry and people to achieve the goal of sustained economic growth.

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