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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has prepared a plan to abolish Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) as an entity and transfer all its assets, budget and resources to National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), official sources told Business Recorder.

Sharing the details sources said in pursuance of the decision of the 5th meeting of the Apex-Committee of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) held on September 8-9, 2023, the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) is working to chalk out a strategy to revamp or abolish the sick, redundant or obsolete entities under its administrative control.

The Ministry maintains that it would be the most appropriate option to abolish Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) as an entity and transfer all its assets, budget and resources to National University of Sciences and Technology as part of its US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy (US-PCASE) except the Pak-Korea Testing Laboratory for PV Modules and Allied Equipment, which will be transferred to STEDEC Technology Commerciali-sation Corporation of Pakistan (STCC) (a State-Owned Entity registered with SECP).

Senate body urges PCRET to come up with more initiatives

PCRET was established through a notification of this Ministry in 1998, by merging Pakistan Council of Appropriate Technology (PCAT) and National Institute of Silicon Technology (NIST), both established through administrative resolutions of April 06, 1987 and June 30, 1991, respectively. PCRET inherited the mandates of PCAT and NIST and was; therefore, responsible to acquire, develop and promote Renewable Energy Technologies (RETS) in the country.

Over the last three decades, PCRET worked on promoting and developing off-grid micro-hydel power plants and installed 538 such plants and handed them over to the communities. PCRET also worked on installation of small wind turbines and installed 130 such turbines with total capacity of 151.5 KW in Sindh and Balochistan. It installed 124 stand-alone solar PV systems and more than 4000 biogas plants (size 3 & 5m3) for demonstration and awareness purposes. All this work was done more than a decade ago and has served the promotion and demonstration purposes that it was intended for. These activities were based on PSDP funding.

According to sources, since the organisation failed to repurpose itself with the changing needs of the energy sector and the phenomenal growth of technology in the field of renewable energy, PCRET has not been able to secure additional PSDP funding for the last ten years, except for “establishment of Pak-Korea Testing Laboratory for PV Modules & Allied Equipment” in collaboration with KOICA.

This laboratory when completed will be a stand-alone entity and can operate as such on completion of the PSDP project. “PCRET has failed to achieve its mandated functions due to a number of factors including lack of proper management and legal status, fast pace of development of renewable energy market and technologies and inability of public sector entities to offer appropriate career opportunities and attract best talent,” the sources added.

PCRET has its headquarters at Islamabad, with four regional offices at provincial capitals, having five advanced labs at Islamabad and one lab each at Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta. These labs are being used for R&D in RETs at pilot scale along with training and demonstration purposes.

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) is under the administrative control of Ministry of Science & Technology. US-Pakistan Centre for Advance Studies in Energy was started in NUST through USAID ($ 15 million) in 2012 and was completed in 2019.

Nine advanced research labs in the field of energy were established at a cost of $ l0 million for research in renewable energy, traditional sources, material sciences and grid technologies. The Centre needs to enhance its capacity and additional resources need to be provided to it.

In view of current scenario, Ministry of Science and Technology has submitted following proposals for the approval of the Federal Cabinet: (i) PCRET may be abolished as an entity through a notification; (ii) a separate proposal to revamp STEDEC Technology Com-mercialisation Corporation of Pakistan, a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) under MoST, and transfer of all testing laboratories of PSQCA to STEDEC is being submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

The implementing agency of the PSDP Project “Establishment of Pak-Korea Testing Laboratory for PV Modules & Allied Equipment” may be changed to STEDEC along with transfer of all the assets developed through this project; (iii) all remaining assets of PCRET may be handed over to NUST US-PCASE); (iv) Current year’s recurring budget for PCRET may also be transferred to NUST and for future financial years, the PCRET budget may be merged as a separate head in the budget of NUST.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


Comments are closed.

Aam Aadmi Dec 18, 2023 09:43am
Not surprising at all. The entire country has been transferred to NUST and it's actual owners. And this will continue to the bad luck of this country and it's people.
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Twain pen di Dec 18, 2023 11:13am
wasting people's time and money, why not hand it over to the establishment they are good at ruining everything.
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Builder Dec 18, 2023 01:50pm
Renewable energy and technologies? These words are unheard in Pakistan. Besides, those who have stakes in IPPs will never let renewable energy sector flourish.
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