‘Only $1.5bn needed to bring end to power woes’ | Pakistan Today

‘Only $1.5bn needed to bring end to power woes’

The prolonged hours of unscheduled load shedding can be brought to an end with just a small investment of $1.5 billion. “Currently, the country is facing a shortfall of 4,000MW in the production of electricity, but this can be overcome by investing only $1.5 billion, which is a small amount compared to the scale of the power crisis that has paralysed the economy and making lives miserable for the people,” Sohail Wajahat H Siddiqui, managing director/CEO of Siemens Pakistan and a member of the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), told Pakistan Today.
The PBC is a body of the elite business groups in the country that holds interactions with government officials, including the president and the prime minister, to find out ways and means to overcome the energy and economy crises and to put the economy on the path of stability. Siddiqui said that under the short-term strategy, an investment of $1.5 billion is required to produce 4,000MW of electricity that would end the shortfall in production and demand.
“I’ve have submitted a comprehensive report to the government from the platform of the Pakistan Business Council to overcome the energy crisis on the short-term and long-term basis,” he added. He said that under the short-term strategy, the upgrading and overhauling of the existing power plants would be sufficient to enhance output of electricity by 4,000MW, adding that for the long-term plan, the government should focus on the generation of electricity from wind, solar, hydel and gas.
“Power generation from the wind and solar technology is expensive, but this technology is essential to develop a mixed energy culture,” he said. “If the crude oil prices shoot above $200 to $250 a barrel in the future, how would the economy and consumers be able to face this crisis?” he questioned, adding that in this situation, alternative energy resources prove helpful to generate low-cost electricity.
Siddiqui said that the government should make serious efforts to develop the energy sector, which has been neglected in the past, creating an unprecedented energy crisis in the country. “Had the previous governments developed big dams and established new power plants in the past to generate additional electricity and to meet the country’s growing demand, the country would not have been facing this crisis now,” he argued.
He said that Pakistan is suffering a loss of about two percent of the GDP a year because of the energy crisis that triggers unemployment, affects industrial production, tax revenue collection and paralyses overall economic activity in the country. “A will is required to eliminate the electricity shortage and to ensure a smooth sailing of the ailing economy,” he said, adding that the PBC has decided to play a crucial role to support the government in overcoming major problems.



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