LAHORE - Over Rs 1.3 trillion has been injected in power sector during the last five years, but country is still suffering a loadshedding of 5000 – 6000MW. The issue of circular debt was also resolved by injecting Rs.480 million, but the energy situation is still unstable.

This was stated by Amir Zamir Ahmad Khan, Coordinator, Integrated Working Group, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms while talking to The Nation.

He observed that energy plays an important role in the national security, as it provides fuel to power the economic engine. Sustainable, affordable, safe and secure energy supplies are essential and energy security has become one of the leading issues in the world today as oil and other resources have become as vital to the world’s people.

He stated that energy security plan was prepared by planning Commission of Pakistan in 2005, but was not implemented due to various reasons. The plan has been revised by Energy Wing keeping in view the actual progress up to 2012.

He said that one of the leading threats to energy security is the significant increase in energy prices. Hence, access to low cost energy has become essential function of modern economics.

Amir Zamir Ahmad Khan, who is also Chief Engineer, NTDC, WAPDA, observed that Pakistan lacks integrated national energy recovery plan, as the targets set out in Energy Security Action Plan 2005 has been lapsed. The per capita energy consumption is very low which is just 14 million British Thermal Unit (Mbtu) as compared to 106 Mbtu for Malaysia. Per capita energy consumption is a key development indicators of “quality of life” of the population.

To date, demand suppression strategy has been used which has perpetuated unavailability of energy. Unavailability of sustained and affordable energy to all the sectors of socio-economic development has suppressed economic growth and created declining tendency for industrial investment in Pakistan, he added.

He said that the country is presently facing the worst ever energy crisis since its independence, resulting low level of GDP growth due to various factors like:

Highlighting the Emergency Energy Recovery Plan Objective Vision 2025, he recommended the government to ensure availability of sufficient energy on sustainable basis and at affordable prices to achieve planned GDP growth targets. He suggested to utilize maximum of indigenous resources, including coal, gas, hydel nuclear and renewable) to meet the growing demand on a sustained and affordable basis thereby providing energy security, sovereignty and sustainability.

He said that promotion of R&D is vital for improvement in energy efficiency and conservation on industry and development of energy efficient appliances.

Amir Zamir stressed the need for improvement in quality of consumer services and creating competitive environment to solicit maximum private sector participation, besides improving strategic oil reserves.

He asked the government to expedite import of natural gas through multiple sources (LNG short term & long term Plans) and pipeline projects.

Other suggestion included: Integrated coal mining & power generation and coal gasification to increase the indigenous coal share in the energy mix i.e. upto 20pc in 20 years plan; Reduce dependence on imported oil through accelerated exploitation of indigenous resources and resort to import of gas for security of supplies and economic consideration; Promote human resource development engineering and vocational training for energy sector to meet plan objectives; Promotion of renewable/ alternate energy sources (wind, solar, Biogas) to have 2-2.5pc share in energy mix in next 20 years plan.