Abdul Rasheed Azad
Published Date: Feb 16, 2016
Shale oil, gas production could cost $12/mmbtu, seminar on energy told
Oil & gas Exploration and Production (E&P) companies have asked the government that shale oil and gas production in Pakistan will cost $12 per Million British Thermal Unit (mmbtu). This was stated by Syed Akhtar Ali, Member Energy Planning Commission of Pakistan while addressing a seminar on “the Energy Component of the CPEC,” organised by SDPI here Monday.
He said with the passage of time all the energy resources including hydro power, oil, gas and coal based power production have become expensive due to multiple factors, adding that to address Pakistan’s energy issues in the long run the government should utilise all the available resources.
He said that within next three years another 10,000 Megawatts (MW) of electricity would be added by utilising coal powered Sino-Hydro Power Plant, Port Qasim Power Plant Karachi, Sahiwal Power Plant, and Engro Power Plant, adding that all these projects have reached in advanced stages of implementation. He said sceptics should see that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is being pursued as reality, fundamental to the future of the people of Pakistan and China.
Now that the ground work has started criticism of project related debt and its repayment is surfacing. He said, these are projects loans and are not sovereign in nature. These power companies have to do business and repay these loans in their personal capacities. The CPEC is being built largely in the private sector having project implemented through foreign-private-investment or with local partner. Only one project, the Sahiwal Power Project is being finished with the equity of the government of Punjab. Every year there has been two percent of output loss due to load shedding. The haemorrhage must stop. Coal is the cheapest source of available fuel, NEPRA has given a tariff of 4.5 cents/kilowatt-hours, which is very favourable.
The criticism on environmental grounds for opting coal fuel is not justified. Pakistan has not yet peaked on the fuel. In the US and even in India more than 50 percent of electricity is produced by using coal as fuel. The US is producing more than 15,000 MW through coal, in Germany, lignite based power plants are established and enhanced. Our use of coal will not add much to the pollution. We would contribute 20-30,000 MW through coal. Our journey has just begun. The global dependence on cola as a fuel is likely to continue for the next decade and a half. Coal is our natural resource, how can we ignore it.
He said all energy sources have some issues. Solar has issue of space, wind and water are seasonal, so even in 2030, renewable energy would add up to 30 percent of the output. Advisor Water and Renewable Energy, SDPI, Arshad H. Abbasi in his deliberations criticised pricing formula of the LNG agreement with the government of Qatar. Pakistan’s future has been pegged to the deal. Coal and hydro are the basic energy source Pakistan and the world has. Long term price prospect of the coal is better than the oil.
Pakistan has 100,000 MW of hydroelectric potential. Arshad Abbasi said multi-purpose hydro power projects are missing from the CPEC. When asked from government about these HPPs the government’s response was mute.