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ISLAMABAD: The private sector and government entities Wednesday evolved a consensus that the government should focus on use of local fuel for power generation instead of imported fuel whose prices have skyrocketed.

This was the crux of a consultative session held at Nepra to discuss how to maximize utilization of coal (both local and imported) as a cheaper source of electricity generation to reduce power tariff.

The session was officiated by Nepra Authority including Nepra Chairman Tauseef H Farooq, Rafique Ahmad Shaikh, member Sindh, and Engr. Maqsood Anwar Khan, member KP. It was also attended by representatives of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G), Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Thar Coal Energy Board (TCEB), Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), IPPs, industrialists, coal importers and coal transporters.

PM Shehbaz approves Afghan coal import for low-cost power generation

The experts and participants maintained that coal-fired power plants in Pakistan are importing coal mainly from South Africa and Indonesia. The global economy has been experiencing an upsurge in commodity prices due to many factors including the current Russia-Ukraine conflict combined with Covid-related logistical issues and coal is among the commodities whose prices have surged manifold over the last year.

Accordingly, the power tariffs of coal-based IPPs are becoming prohibitively expensive, therefore, the Authority argues that the stakeholders should explore options of optimal utilization of local coal. The session ended with the proposal to convey the various options to Federal Government for further action.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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