A few years back, Pakistan was faced with severe power shortages but today the power supply has flipped to a surplus mainly because of the projects executed with the Chinese cooperation. According to Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Energy, Tabish Gauhar, the country is set to have as much as fifty per cent extra electricity by 2023.
This situation warrants prudent decisions to effectively use the additional electricity for the benefit of the country. The government has already taken an important initiative of revisiting the agreements with the IPPs as the existing ones spell trouble for the country. At present, the power producers are paid whether the electricity produced is used or not. The cost of this is being borne by the consumers in the form of increased tariff. Hence if the government succeeds in revising those agreements, this will help bring down the tariff much for the relief of domestic and industrial units. At the same time, it is important that the government officials sit with the industries and convince them to switch to electricity from gas.
This will also help us address our gas shortages. Ensuring maximum utilization, the areas and villages without electricity should be connected with the grid. We can also earn foreign exchange by exporting the electricity to countries especially those in the Central Asian States. We will suggest that the CASA-1000 be made an open access power line so that we could also export electricity to countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan especially in the winter season. China is emerging as a regional electric supply hub and by connecting our grid with the friendly country, we can also export all our excess electricity. Having said so, we need to now focus more on producing power from indigenous resources and upgrading the transmission and distribution network to ensure smooth power supply.