PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government in principle approved a policy of rapid industrialization in the province which is based on fully availing of the rich natural resource endowment.
The policy is a paradigm shift from the vicious circle of geographical disadvantageous location of the province to the exploitation of its abundant natural resources particularly energy.
Under the policy industrialists will be offered cheap electricity near the numerous hydropower generation spots not only just identified but many completed or near completion and spade work for the establishment of many already conducted. Such cheap electricity will also be offered to the investors near the gas extracting spots which can be easily generated thereby.
Of importance among them is the construction of additional Pehur High Level one which will be completed soon and from which electricity on cheap and concessional rate will be provided to the industries of Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate.
This is nevertheless a gospel for the investors there have passed through turbulent periods during the last three decades. Another such local is Dargai where cheap electricity could be provided to the investors from the Malakand-III, hydropower generation plant. The construction of Malakand-III hydropower project of 81-MW installed capacity was undertaken at Dargai almost eight years ago at a cost of $80 million. Commissioned in 2009, the power station generates 553-million kWh electricity annually. Generation cost works out to be cents 2.18 per kWh.
However, for the time being its electricity is sold to WAPDA on cheap rate which is resold to the public on much higher rates. But still, the agreement with WAPA is to be studies for revival. At a conservative estimate there are 13 hydropower stations in the province, (other than Wapda power stations of total 3,762 MW installed capacity including Tarbela and Warsak), which are categorised as medium, small and mini, of cumulative capacity of 86 MW. Other hydropower stations being operated by the provincial government are Pehur (Swabi) of 18-MW, Reshun (Chitral) of 4.2-MW and Shishi (Chitral) of 1.8-MW capacity.
The KP Government has allocated a sum of Rs.373 million in its budget for the year 2013-14 of which 1417.881 million for 28 on going and Rs.373 million for the 12 new power generation schemes in the Province. During the current financial year five such scheme are due for completion.
There are 13 projects of cumulative capacity of 8,152 MW under construction by WAPDA. There are another eight IPP projects, of various capacities ranging from 132 MW to 840 MW, being implemented by the private sector through the PPIB, under the Power Policy 2002. KP had launched an ambitious programme for generating 2,036-MW electricity, implemented phase-wise. Most of these are run-of-the-river type projects with high, medium and small water heads, some with small daily water storage for peaking.
While the Province had already established an independent organization PHYDO which has focused over hydropower generation and of late from the oil and gas having been explored in the southern districts of the province a few years ago, it was also in principle approved as part of the said policy that the Province should explore the establishment of such an independent and autonomous power distribution organization which would enable the provincial government to ensure just and direct distribution of the power so generated among both the domestic consumers and the prospective industrialists. Therefore, the offer of cheap electricity will not only be limited to hydropower generating areas but also from gas too, which is in abundance in the Southern and backward districts of the province.
The meeting in which these and many more principles and policy decisions were made also took stock of the situation that the future technology requirements are seldom studies in Pakistan which leads to the future losses of the investors because the installed machineries are constantly redundant by the latest and innovation and inventions therefore, such experts and specialists will also be invited which giving any concrete shape to the above rapid industrialization of the province.
The Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mohammad Shahzad Arbab presided over the meeting which besides others it was attended by PTI leader Jahangir Tarin and former Secretary Industries Sulman Ghani. Earlier, the participants were briefed in detail about the establishment, activities and contribution of Sundre industrial estates in the industrialization of Punjab.
The participants also proposed that in view of the changing scenario the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should concentrate on the development of economic zones in various parts of the province instead to stoking itself off in the rot of establishment of industrial estates.