CPEC helps address Pakistan power shortage woes

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ISLAMABAD: CPEC helped a lot to address Pakistan’s power shortage woes, WealthPK reported on Thursday.
The report says, electricity is considered one of the most important vectors for economic growth and development of any country. Industrial processes, transportation, education systems, construction activities, household appliances, as well as large businesses and small commercial services heavily rely on the electric supply.
The global electricity consumption is growing rapidly with population growth, and with lifestyle changes across the world. Electricity generation is a serious challenge, especially for developing countries. Globally, fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – are primary energy sources.
In Pakistan, electric power generation is one of the most imminent challenges in economic uplift and industrial advancement. Unfortunately, for the past couple of years, Pakistan finds itself stuck in a web of electricity shortfalls and energy crisis.
The country faces hours of power outages daily. It’s an issue which the government cannot ignore, as it impacts on the fabric of Pakistani society, WealthPK reported.
Pakistan’s electric power generation sector comprises the power plants set up in the public and private sectors.
The power generation plants comprise hydropower plants, thermal power plants, nuclear power plants, renewable energy including wind, solar and bagasse/biomass power plants.
Fiscal year 2020 was marked by a shift away from gas and furnace oil in favour of hydropower and coal-based electricity generation. In fiscal year 2020, hydel power accounted for 32% of total power, up from 26% in fiscal year 2019, while coal contribution increased from 13% in fiscal year 2019 to 21% in fiscal year 2020.
However, the share of gas-generated electricity fell from 18% in fiscal year 2019 to 12% in fiscal year 2020, while the share of furnace oil fell from 7% last year to 3% this year. RLNG, or regasified liquefied natural gas, made up 20% of the overall power mix, with nuclear power accounting for 8%, wind power accounting for 2%, and ‘other’ (solar, bagasse) accounting for 2%.
The country is set to have as much as 50% extra electricity by 2023. It has overcapacity but due to unreliable grids, it still faces power shortages for several hours. The foreign direct investment under the umbrella of the CPEC is a major opportunity for Pakistan to tackle its energy woes. The CPEC includes many powers projects.
The total investment in Pakistan’s energy sector accounts for nearly $12.4 billion under the CPEC. So far, 12 energy-generating projects have either reached the construction phase or have commenced their commercial operations. The total installed capacity of these projects is approximately 7,240MW with the estimated investment cost of $12.4 billion.
The CPEC energy cooperation has helped improve Pakistan’s power supply. In fiscal year 2018-2019, power generation from CPEC projects reached 17.728 billion kWh, accounting for 14.5% of overall output in the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) system, WealthPK reported.
Under the CPEC, the Chinese companies are working on seven wind power plants, three hydropower and two HVDC transmission line projects, five coal projects in Thar and four imported coal projects along with a ±660 kV HVDC transmission line between Sindh and Punjab. One of the key projects is Matiari-Lahore HVDC transmission line project which will transmit 4,000MW electricity.
The flagship project under the CPEC successfully achieved its commercial operation on September 1, 2021 as per agreed timeline between the National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDC) and Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Company (PMLTC).
This project includes two converter stations and two electrode-grounding stations at Matiari/Lahore, three repeater stations and a transmission line. – INP