ISLAMABAD - Despite challenges, the government has embarked upon an ambitious plan of coping with energy crisis at both short-term and long-term basis and has been engaged in setting up infrastructure to add at least 2,000 MW of electricity in the system as early as by the end of 2014.

Owing to various measures the government has already adopted, the load-shedding would be reduced to as low as 6 hour during this summer, according to the sources in the ministry.

“The government has devised short, medium and long term strategies to overcome the energy crisis”, the sources said.

In tandem with other pressing challenges like terrorism and law and order situation, Energy has become one of the top priorities of the government, which has taken now several measures to mitigate crisis and facilitate the masses, the sources added.

Among the infrastructure developments, the Tarbela 4th and Tarbela 5th hydropower projects would add 1410 MW and 1320 MW respectively electricity to the current existing capacity of Tarbela hydropower units.

With the addition of 2,730 MW, the total capacity of Tarbela hydropower project would surge to 6,208 MW. The 4th extension hydropower project would be completed in a short span of three and half years with an estimated cost of $ 928 million. World Bank (WB) was providing $ 840 million for the project. Government is also negotiating with World Bank (WB) to provide funding for the 5th Tarbela Extension power project. The 4th Extension Hydropower Project would contribute 4 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity annually to the national grid. The monetary benefit to accrue from the project has been estimated to be Rs.30 billion per annum and it would pay back its entire cost of construction in three years.

The project was part of the government’s least cost energy generation plan. On the directive of the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, the ministry of water and power was making earnest efforts to increase the hydel share in energy mix, which would not only reduce power tariff but also provide relief to the common man. Under the medium term plan, the government would add more than 13,000 MW of electricity in next five to seven years. These projects include 106 MW Golen Gol, 969 MW Neelum Jhelum 1410 MW Tarbela 4th

Extension, 1320 MW Tarbela 5th Extension, 122 MW Keyal Khwar, 83 MW Kurram Tangi, 2160 MW Dasu Phase-1, 496 MW Lower Spat Gah, 665 MW Lower Palas Valley, 740 MW Mohmand (Munda) dam, 2800 MW Pattan and 2800 MW Thakot Hydropower project. While, under long-term plan, projects of 14,970 MW would be completed which would need 7-10 years for commissioning.

The government has already released Rs 17 billion for land acquisition of Diamer-Basha dam and around 70-80 per cent land has been acquired for the this mega project. The 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower project would start generation in 2015-16 while 106 MW Golen Gol Hydropower Project would also add electricity to the national grid system in 2015. The government was not only arranging funds from its resources but also reaching out to the friendly countries and International Financial Institutions for availability of funds to complete these project.

   The government was also exploring other sources such as coal, nuclear, wind and solar to meet the country’s needs. The 425 MW Nandipur power project would be fully operationalized this year and its first unit would start functioning in April.

The 600-700 MW Guddu Power Plant which was closed due to non-availability of gas would also be made functional by March. Other than hydel, the government is also exploring other sources such as coal, nuclear, wind and solar to meet the country’s energy needs. 6600 MW Pakistan Power Park at Gaddani (Balochistan) and 2200 MW Karachi Coastal Power Plant are mentionable in this regard. Similarly, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has been tasked by the government to install 8,800MW nuclear power capacity by the year 2030, said Chairman PAEC Dr Ansar Parvez.

“We are planning not only to accomplish the task but go on to install more than 42,000 MW nuclear power capacity under Nuclear Vision 2050 approved by the National Command Authority”, he said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently performed ground breaking of Coastal Power project ,two units, 1100 MW each, on Nov 26,2013.