“Emerging Crisis in the gas sector”, lead editorial (BR, Sept 11), highlights the criticality of the energy sector in general and the availability of economical natural gas supply in particular.
Earlier, “Gas shortages and difference between domestic and imported gas” on Sept 10 covered the difficult gas-based energy situation, with no apparent easy solution!
Normally, one would hear the magic word “conservation” whenever something was either in short supply or becoming unaffordable but we are told that the ECC was deciding continuation of concessionary rates for both gas as well as electricity! And this, without proclaiming that this will apply only when both gas and electricity are used efficiently. We must adopt efficient processes if we want to be economically successful and inspite of existing approved directives to sanction natural gas for power generation only for cogeneration/CHP power plants, both SSGC and SNGPL continue to avoid the efficiency consideration.
The result of these malpractices is obvious. Whereas efficient cogeneration power plants operate at thermal efficiencies in excess of 70%, we chose to consume our precious gas at average 35% efficiency at best! And then, we accept the low efficiency with a vengeance and expect gas supply at concessionary rates!
Just to give an example, many countries have hugely encouraged efficient cogenerations/CHP power plants and thus reduced their costs of production but also reduced environmental pollution in a big way. Even though the US is not an ideal example, there were cogeneration/CHP power plants with total capacities in excess of 500MW in the year 2000 when I was collecting data to convince energy engineers in Pakistan. Where are we even with government directives dating two decades?
We need to enforce energy conservation in a big way if we want to have stable cost of production and thus control presently spiraling costs as well as manage climate control avoid serious consequences even in the immediate future.
ENGR. AINUL ABEDIN (KARACHI)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020