Clean fuel firm struggles despite energy shortages

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Chakwal

Hassan Raza says his clean fuel company, which captures natural gas “flared” at Pakistan’s oil fields and sells it to industrial customers, is struggling to expand despite energy shortages and concerns over the country’s poor pollution record.
EGas Pvt. Ltd. has a number of high-profile clients, some of whom turned to the small firm during the worst shortages in 2010 and 2011, but Raza says the government should be doing more to encourage environmentally friendly technology.
“A high cost penalty on emitted carbon is the only way this type of business can grow; otherwise what incentive would companies have to stop flaring?” Raza told media at the EGas compression plant in Pakistan’s central Chakwal district. “You penalise them and they will be forced to clean up their act. And that’s where we come in.”
A spokesman at the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency said flaring occurred, but that measures were being taken to control it. “We are in touch with all stakeholders and are seeking their compliance as per international standards,” he said. Chronic power shortages severely dented Pakistan’s economy earlier in the decade, and industry turned to burning wood, rubber, and even used shoes to keep its furnaces, boilers and generators running.—Reuters