islamabad - The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the National University of Sciences & Technology organised a training workshop on biomass gasification technologies at NUST.

The activity was conducted under the UNIDO-GEF project ‘Promoting Sustainable Energy Production & Use from Biomass in Pakistan’ as part of a series of training and awareness raising workshops aimed at enhancing the knowledge base of biomass gasification in Pakistan.

This particular training workshop was designed as a one-day training initiative for non-engineering professionals from small and medium sized industrial facilities, public sector organisations and members of academic institutions.  The workshop was conducted by two bioenergy experts working in CAS-EN NUST and the guest trainer who traveled from the King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan is facing severe energy challenges that include frequent power cuts and unreliable supply of natural gas. The UNIDO is helping SMEs utilise the abundant indigenous biomass resource and address the difficulties they face in generating electricity and process heat.

The UNIDO seeks to support the SME sector of Pakistan, a pillar of any developing economy, through this clean energy initiative leading to improved competitiveness of local manufacturing and in parallel contributing to the global initiatives such as Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 9, dealing with industry, innovation and infrastructure.

The project, a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded initiative, currently running in Pakistan endeavors to promote the market-based adoption of modern biomass technologies in the country. The project has four main components, (i) demonstration of technical and financial feasibility of biomass technologies through implementing demonstration projects, (ii) facilitating policy advisory to support an enabling statutory framework for biomass in Pakistan, (iii) building capacities of relevant stakeholder and (iv) Improving the awareness and knowledge base of biomass technologies in Pakistan.

Dr Bilal Khan, the Principal of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy (CAS-EN), NUST welcomed the participants and spoke about the activities and objectives of the on-going collaboration between the UNIDO biomass project and NUST. He elaborated the role of CAS-EN NUST as a partner implementing several capacity development, awareness raising and technology & research cooperation activities under the project. He spoke of this project contributing to global initiatives such as the SDGs, Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Declaration. 

The chief guest of the event, the Pro-Rector Academics at NUST Dr. Asif Raza said sustainable industrial development is not possible without sustainable energy supply and promoting biomass technologies in Pakistan is a positive step towards tackling the menace of the prevalent energy shortfall in Pakistan.

He felt that workshops such as these provide excellent opportunities for understanding the possibilities and getting hands-on knowledge of technologies such as biomass gasification. He further mentioned that CAS-EN NUST boasts state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities for advanced research and development, training and consultancy related to renewable and conventional energy. He appreciated the trust UNIDO placed in the center and wished the participants a very fruitful and informative workshop. Speaking on the occasion, UNIDO Representative Esam ALQARARAH, highlighted the importance of biomass as a huge energy resource for Pakistan and that how technologies such as biomass gasification have excellent potential for a variety of applications in Industry, rural electrification and entrepreneurship development.

He mentioned that this project also offers exciting synergies with the UNIDO Cleantech project where one start-up company from Pakistan, winners of a global cleantech award, developed a tractor-mounted biomass gasifier that uses crop residue as fuel. He concluded his remarks by stating that the UNIDO biomass project, in addition to the activities coordinated with NUST, would also be implementing selected biomass demonstration projects, providing policy advisory to governmental agencies and facilitating technology transfer and wished the participants a productive workshop.