LAHORE - With 18 hydel generation projects and dozens in coal, nuclear and thermal sector, Pakistan Water and Power sector is struggling to add 20,000MW electricity in energy basket till 2020.

According to the sources at Wapda and Pepco, the electricity demand would touch around 30,000MW after six or seven years but the addition of around 20,000MW would help meet the demand and generation gap. The completion of energy projects depend on flow of funds from government and international lending agencies, they added.

The independent observers; however, claimed that the menace of loadshedding will continue after completion of present government tenure despite a lot of power project are in pipeline. They held that majority of the projects were exist only on papers, the foreign investment, law and order situation, legal and technical issues were the hurdles in the way of completion of the power generation projects.  “It will be a miracle, if the government added 3,000MW to 4,000MW in the national grid during next four years but the electricity need will be doubled in that period,” said an energy expert. Power generation of 1000MW from the Thar Coal Project at Gaddani in next five years only a dream, he added.

Pakistan is facing severe energy crisis these days. The incumbent government has already sought assistance from China to implement energy projects thorough various sources and majority in coal sector to meet power requirements. On completion, these power projects would add more than 10,000MW in energy basket after six years in coal sector and almost equal to hydel power projects.  Some experts, however, are criticising the Chinese investment in the country, which according to them, is bypassing the PPRA rules.

It is worth mentioning here that estimated $22 billion investment by Chinese company is likely only in Thar coal project in Sindh and hydro-electric projects in KPK. “Everyone would welcome investment by neighbour country if government adopted legal process,” said a former Pepco chief.  Another expert said that there is no problem in Chinese investment if the transparency ensured. He also advocated hydel power generation projects instead of through coal. The 19 projects include four power generation projects of about 2,297 megawatts, one coal power project of 405MW, one project for development of infrastructure and mining and power generation from Thar coal, four projects of small and medium dams, five projects of transmission lines and power distribution, one project of alternative energy and two projects of geological survey.

The four power projects include 840MW Sukhi Kinari plant, 100MW Kotli plant, 157MW Madian plant and 1,200MW AES imported coal-based plant. The government claimed that the power generation projects would be completed in three to five years. Pakistan is also working on Chashma-3 and 4 nuclear power plants with the help of China as well. A Wapda official said that the authority executing 18 hydel power generation projects under medium and long-term plan. There are 12 projects of hydel generation which can be completed in next six years and would generate 13,671MW, said the official but the arrangement of billions of rupees for the projects is a big task before the cash-starved government.

Among the projects, the Golen Gold would produce 106MW and would complete in 2016, Neelum Jehlum (first unit) of capacity 969 will complete in November 2016, Tebella 4th Ext of capacity 1410MW will complete in 2017, Terbela 5th Ext with capacity 1320MW will complete in 2018, Keyal Khwar of capacity 122MW will complete in 2018, Kurram Tangi (stage 1) of capacity 83MW will complete in 2018, Dasu (stage 1) of capacity 2160MW will complete in 2018, Lower Spat Gah of capacity 496MW will complete in 2018, Lower Palas Valley of capacity 665MW will complete in 2018, Mohmanad (Munda) of capacity 740MW will complete in 2018 and Patan and Thajkot of each capacity 2800MW will complete in 2020.

Similarly, the Wapda under long-term plan of seven to 12 years has targeted to generate 14970MW through six major dams. Among these are Diamer Basha Dam 4500MW, Dasu HPP (Stage 2) 2160MW, Bunji HPP 7100MW Akhori Dam 600MW, Rehabilitation of Mangla Power House 310MW and Rehabilitation of Warsak (New Power House) 300MW.