There will be no power shortage in next 5 years, Omar tells Senate body

By: News Desk      Published: 11:47 PM, 24 Feb, 2020
There will be no power shortage in next 5 years, Omar tells Senate body
Federal Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan speaks in the National Assembly.–File photo

Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan on Monday briefed the Senate Standing Committee on Energy about the performance of subsidiaries of his ministry.

Chairing the meeting, Senate Standing Committee Chairman Chaudhry Salik Hussain said there was a need to review the national energy policy afresh. He said that circular debt was a cancer for the national economy. He said that RLNG plants were set up at double cost in the past and a meeting of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) would be convened soon to decide power tariff.

Briefing the Senate committee, the power minister said there was no power shortage in the country right now and there would be no shortfall in the next five years. He said that work on various power projects was under way under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that Pakistan’s power generation capacity has increased from 17,000 megawatts in 2008 to 36,000 megawatts in 2020. He said this is the first time that power supply situation in the country has been evaluated. He said that flawed power projects were built in the past, but this is the incumbent government’s priority to set up renewable energy projects. He said that 850 megawatts of power were being generated from wind in Sindh.

The minister said that renewable energy projects are being set up in different areas in Sindh. He said that alternative energy would have 30 percent share in the energy mix. He said that Lakhra Power Plant was set up 1994, but it remained functional just for one year. He said the Senate Committee said after an investigation into the project that Lakhra Power Plant was not a viable project. He said that 25 percent of power in Pakistan would be generated from coal by 2040. He said the world was cutting on the use of coal, but Pakistan is increasing the use of coal.

Briefing the committee on circular debt, he said the government was developing a solid strategy on this issue. He said the government would have to rationalise tariff to bring the circular deb down. He said the cabinet would be briefed about the new power policy soon. In the new policy, he said, there was a suggestion to keep the tariff unchanged for at least 18 months. The meeting participants said that farmers running their tube-wells from 11am to 6pm were being charged double bill. He said the said the government should increase subsidy on tub-wells.