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Published Date: Oct 23, 2013

SDPI Press Release (October 23, 2013)

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) launched its latest research report here on Wednesday,
seeking to bring the Iran-Pakistan Pipeline in the spotlight, and aims
to create a dialogue for re-evaluating Pakistan’s Energy Equation. The
report is an independent project of SDPI’s energy team, in light of
existing data.

SDPI
report analyzes Pakistan’s natural gas sector, performance of gas-fired
thermal power plants and the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project, and gives
specific recommendations based on the report’s salient findings. One of
its key research elements is a calculation of the real cost of
electricity generation after injection of Iranian Gas, at the rate of
the prevailing Gas Sale Purchase Agreement (GSPA).

Presenting
the report, Engr. Arshad H. Abbasi, Energy Advisor, SDPI, said that as
gas and oil prices have become an outdated phenomenon all over the world
with the expansion of shale gas; Pakistan needs to re-negotiate the gas
price it intends to buy from Iran. He gave the example of Italy and
Germany that took their cases to the International Court of Arbitration
for delinking of the oil and gas pricing regarding their gas deals. He
said that there is no point for cancellation of the Iran-Pakistan gas
pipeline agreement but renegotiation of the gas prices under the
prevalent situation under the clause 6.3.2 provided in the agreement.

To
substantiate his argument Arshad Abbasi said according to the agreement
rate for Pakistan is more than $15/ MMBTU if calculated in relation to
the current JCC prices though Iran is supplying gas to Turkmenistan at a
rate of $4/ MMBTU.

He
maintained that Pakistan has a combined power generation capacity of
24000 MW which it was unable to meet due to scarcity of natural gas
supply to its power generation units. As of now, Pakistan has failed to
discover new gas reserves, hence it required to imports natural gas to
meet its growing energy requirements. Moreover, natural gas as a
resource is of the utmost importance for Pakistan as it makes up for
almost 50% of the country’s energy mix.

Giving
recommendations, he suggested that with around 105 TCF reserves of
Shale Gas that can be effectively exploited to meet the country’s energy
demands, Pakistan needs to follow the global shale gas initiative. He
was of the view that by modernizing the existing thermo power plant the
efficiency and production will increase considerably, in the result;
Pakistan’s reliance on foreign resources will also decrease.

While
chairing the session Engr. Shamsul Mulk, former Chairman WAPDA/Former
Chief Minister KPK drew attention towards the consistent policy failures
in the energy sector, which have led to the present high costs of
electricity.

He
also asserted that as the cost of electricity generation from oil or
coal sources is much higher, natural gas is crucial for Pakistan’s
energy sector. In this scenario, Pakistan needs to import gas but the
importance of mutual benefits regarding the IP project cannot be ignored
and Pakistan should not compromise on pricing issues. He stressed the
need for building more dams and water reservoirs. Quoting the example,
Shamsul Mulk said Egypt managed to survive 7 year long drought with the
help of proper water storage system of storage over Aswan.

Earlier,
in his welcome remarks, Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director,
SDPI highlighted that SDPI’s report on IP project presents an objective
analysis of Pakistan’s energy scenario while taking into consideration
the financial and economic ramifications of the project. He also
emphasized the significance of this report and the IP project in the
context of US-Pakistan relation as it is believed that Pakistan’s Prime
Minister will have discussion about the country’s energy crisis with his
US counterpart in Washington. Dr. Suleri said that the report gains
significance also from the fact that Pakistan will have to consider the
international natural gas scenario and the position taken by United
States given its diplomatic relations with Iran.

Former
Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman Board of Governors SDPI said that
the report has been launched with the aim to contribute to the ongoing
national dialogue over energy security of Pakistan. There is a dire need
of improving transmission and distribution system, developing clean
sources of energy, controlling indiscriminate spread of gas connection
and maintaining smart meters, he maintained.

He
said Pakistan has already witnessed capital flight due to energy crisis
Pakistan as a lot of textile units had already shifted to Bangladesh
that has also caused massive un-employment in the country.