ICCI for utilizing Coal reserves to overcome energy crisis

  • March 13, 2010
Energy crisis is taking a heavy toll on industry and the overall economy. Therefore, government should focus on exploiting coal reserves to overcome the power shortage in the country.

This was said by Zahid Maqbool, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry while chairing a meeting of ICCI Sub-Committee on Energy.

He said due to frequent power loadshedding, output of industries is on the decline while cost of doing business is rising. This situation has also led to the closure of many industrial units rendering thousands of workers jobless and government should take urgent measures to reverser this trend.

Chairman Sub-Committee said that coal is the most viable option for Pakistan to meet the fuel requirements with potential of providing long-term energy security. He said that reportedly only Thar coal has the potential to generate 100,000 MW of electricity while by utilizing only 30 percent of this coal, the country can sufficiently meet its energy needs for more than 40 years.
Zahid Maqbool said the share of coal is increasing in the energy mix as according to some reports, coal presently produces more than 50 per cent of America’s electricity, 70 per cent of India’s and 80 per cent of China’s electricity. But Pakistan is mostly depending on fossil fuel for energy generation which is proving very costly to the economy.
He said energy crisis is casting multiple negative effects on the economy as rising inflation, unemployment, high production cost, declining exports, depreciation of rupee, reducing living standards of people and falling investment etc. are the by-products of the energy crisis. Therefore, resolving this issue should be given the top most priority to steer the economy out of troubled waters, he stressed.

Sub-Committee members stressed that instead of resorting to unwise short cuts that will have long lasting damaging impact on the economy, government should work out a long-term strategy for attracting maximum investment to exploit coal reserves.