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ISLAMABAD: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and Shell Pakistan Limited jointly hosted a ‘Pakistan Energy Symposium’, organised by the Nutshell Group at a local hotel, bringing together public stakeholders, policymakers, thought leaders, and industry specialists, to chart out a course for Pakistan’s sustainable energy future.

Deliberating on adding renewables to Pakistan’s energy mix, Senator Dr Musadik Malik, federal minister for Petroleum and Water Resources said, “Pakistan has sunlight, wind, water, and nuclear energy. We can produce green electricity on a large scale. In 2018, when the strategy was being made, solar energy was 22 cents and wind energy was 23 cents, which has now been reduced to three to five cents. Pakistan can produce energy using a hybrid system. Battery technology is improving, and if that happens, we can generate electricity from sun, wind, and water.”

In his welcome address, Rehan Shaikh, President and CEO, Standard Chartered Pakistan and President, OICCI, highlighted that Pakistan is at a pivotal juncture in its journey towards energy sustainability. Rehan shared that, energy security and self-sufficiency are the fundamentals of progress and prosperity for any nation.

While Pakistan’s power sector has faced issues like circular debt, demand and supply gaps, and rising costs and tariffs, there is huge potential to change the course. With over 300 sunny days in a year, vast wind corridors in Sindh and Balochistan, and abundant hydropower in the North, Pakistan must capitalize on these green energy resources and move to a sustainable energy mix.”

In his opening address, Waqar Siddiqui, CEO and Managing Director, Shell Pakistan Limited, stressed urgent action to achieve sustainability. “Pakistan is at a critical economic juncture, and to steer the country on a sustainable trajectory, resolving the energy puzzle is of utmost importance. There is tremendous opportunity for growth in the energy sector of the world’s 5th most populous country, with sizable potential for investment. What we propose are partnerships and solutions that seek to shape the energy future of Pakistan.

Rabia Shoaib Ahmad, Director and CEO, Nutshell Group, added that by fostering innovation and leveraging partnerships, we can pave the way for a resilient and energy-efficient Pakistan. In her remarks, she said, “To help highlight the issues of the investors, to create an enabling environment, and to help promote a healthy investment climate for foreign investors in Pakistan, Nutshell Group has been working with the OICCI for over a decade.

During his address, Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi, CEO K-Electric, highlighted the company’s zero contribution to the power sector’s circular debt, underscoring the benefits of privatization. He said that while Pakistan offers low energy purchase price, it still grapples with high capacity charges and circular debt issues—a scenario not mirrored in other countries where the Energy Purchase Price (EPP) is considerably higher.

Alvi stressed that Pakistan’s energy sector also needs to address systemic Dr Nazir Abbas Zaidi, secretary general Oil Companies Advisory Council, recommending possible solutions for the structural issues to unleash the possibilities of the power sector said, “Implement rules to curb the inflow of smuggled products, close approximately 2,500 illegal retail outlets immediately, roll out new explosives rules and remove non-aligned rules/standards between OGRA and Department of Explosives.”

Sharing recommendations on how LNG can fuel Pakistan’s economic progress, Mazhar Hasnani, CEO, Engro Vopakad Engro Elengy Terminals Limited, said, “We aim to expand LNG infrastructure and deregulate the market, devise solutions to curb gas circular debt, establish new LNG terminals to bridge the supply-demand gap, create an LNG taskforce for streamlined regulatory approvals, develop strategic onshore LNG terminals for long-term supply security, and address pipeline capacity issues by leveraging declining gas production and new pipeline development.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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