Saarc Energy Regulators for effective materialization of regional cooperation


Mian Arshad

Islamabad—The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Energy Regulators, Wednesday, recognized interactions and dialogues among the stakeholders of the member states imperative for effective materialization of regional energy cooperation. The 3rd SAARC Energy Regulator meeting pressed on joint research, reeducation of losses and grid integration for renewable energy because they were low hanging fruits and members could benefit from each other on these subjects.
The meeting observed that members had benefited from the experience of each other states for determining tariff of HVDC line and received excellent, feedback from member states thorough SARRC Energy Centre. SAARC Energy Regulators Meeting is a drive by energy regulators representing all SAARC member countries to harmonize the Regulations, Codes and Standards relating to transmission and distribution of electricity and synchronize their regulatory frameworks for cross-border electricity trade. Given the importance of regional energy cooperation and promotion of cross-border electricity trade in the SAARC region this meeting is an important milestone in reviewing the implementation status of SAARC Plan of Action on Energy Regulations (Electricity).
The Secretary Cabinet in his inaugural speech welcomed the delegates and said that SAARC member states are struggling with a massive gap in demand and supply. There is a need to address energy security from a regional perspective. To achieve regional cooperation we have to take various factors into account including the high investment cost, priate participation, environment, affordability and right of way. Harmonious energy policies, enabling legal environment and regulatory framework are key tools for regional trade and investment. He hoped that member states would take advantage of the momentum created by this meeting and contribute to overcome the issues of power sector in the region.
The Director, SAARC Secretariat, Ali Haider Altaf opened the Meeting of the SAARC Energy Regulators and in accordance with the SAARC, practice, the leader of the delegation of the host country, Chairman NEPRA, was elected as Chairperson of the SAARC Energy Regulators Meeting. Delegations of participating states presented their country papers on the existing Regulatory Mechanisms, Rules, Methodologies and Processes of respective Members States. Tariq Saddozai, Chairperson of the SAARC Energy Regulators Meeting in his speech stressed on the need for cooperation for the development of efficient conventional and renewable energy resources, strengthening of related transmission systems and cross-border electricity trade for sustainable development of member states.
He said Pakistan is already importing 100MW from Iran and CASA project would enable Afghanistan and Pakistan to import 1300MW electricity from Central Asian countries. Pakistan has also submitted a draft MoU to India on importing 1200MW of electricity. He added that NEPRA Act envisages open access to transmission and distribution systems and NEPRA Interim Power Procurement Regulations have been framed to allow foreign generation companies to sell electricity to power purchasers. The power sector in Pakistan is in transition towards a competitive regime which is targeted to be achieved by 2020.