Advisor to Prime Minister on Energy Zahid Muzaffar said that gas demand in the country was 8 billion cubic feet (BCF) while the supply was only 4 BCF and government was planning to set up 2 to 3 new LNG terminals within a year to overcome the gas crisis. He after coming into power, the current government accorded top priority to the energy issue and started many new projects. He said soon the country would be out of energy crisis. He was addressing a Roundtable Energy Conference as Chief Guest organized by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Zahid Maqbool former President ICCI and Patron-in-Chief of ICCI Energy Committee was the chief organizer of the Conference. Diplomats of many countries, MNCs of oil & gas sector and many other experts attended the Conference. The purpose of the Conference was to discuss news ideas for overcoming the energy shortage issue of the country.
Zahid Muzaffar said that AJK, KP and many other areas of Pakistan possessed huge potential for hydropower and stressed that private sector should come forward to set up small and medium hydropower plants while the government would encourage them. He said private sector should also invest in solar power plants and sell the surplus energy to national grid on good returns. He said that under Roshan Pakistan scheme, 20,000 houses would be provided solar electricity within a year while this initiative would be further extended. He appreciated the ICCI initiative for organizing a Roundtable Energy Conference and added that such conferences generated many good ideas for overcoming country’s energy problems.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that energy crisis has badly affected business and industrial activities in the country and the best way of overcoming this problem was to open the energy sector for private sector. He said government should allow private sector to set up power plants on regional basis to exploit the cheap indigenous energy sources. He hoped that the government would give due considerations to the proposals and recommendations presented in the Energy Conference.
Abdullah Yousaf, Chairman, Independent Power Producers Advisory Council said that Pakistan has the potential to generate 60,000 MW hydropower and 50,000MW wind energy, but these cheap sources have not been exploited as yet. He said energy crisis has caused US$10 billion annual loss to Pakistan’s economy and stressed that government should lessen heavy reliance on oil & gas and focus on hydro, wind and renewable energy sources to make Pakistan’s economy competitive.
Dr. Saeed Khan Jadoon, Executive Director of OGDCL said that oil and gas exploration success rate was highest in Pakistan, but so far only 40% area of Pakistan was explored while 60% still remained unexplored for oil & gas. He said Pakistan has also huge potential in shale gas and shale oil and stressed that more joint ventures should be set up to explore these unexplored energy sources
Mohsin Khalid, former President ICCI said that Pakistan’s gas sector offered tremendous scope for investment to private sector with high rate of return and stressed that government should provide a level playing field to the private sector for investing in gas sector.