The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said retreating coal and LNG prices in the international market should be taken as a golden opportunity by policymakers to offset energy crisis in Pakistan.

Government has planned to produce 9000MW electricity with the help of imported coal whose prices has come down to $65 per tonne after touching $130 in 2011 while LNG is available for $10 per mmbtu which is a ray of hope for us, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Talking to Central Chairman APCNGA Pervaiz Khan Khattak and other stakeholders, he said that former government wanted to buy LNG from Qatar at the rate of $18 per mmbtu which included kickbacks.

That deal would have resulted in costly energy but now India is buying LNG for $10.5b per mmbtu due to its encouraging policy and transparency therefore Pakistan can also get it at $10 per mmbtu, he added. He said that any delay can result in missed opportunities and colossal losses to the industry. 

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said government has been encouraging private sector which can help abolish the role of commission mafia resulting in affordable energy for the masses. If Japan decided to run its 48 nuclear reactors closed since 2011 disaster or favours buying LNG from sources other than Qatar, it will have an impact of international prices, he observed.

At the occasion, Pervaiz Khattak said that government’s LNP policy will reduce loadshedidng, oil import bill, pollution and provide jobs to millions. He added that federal petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been trying to resolve energy crisis, encouraging investors and trying to revive Rs 450 billion CNG industry which has energised us.