Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the Government has delivered by mitigating energy crisis in the country.
He was inaugurating Pakistan Oil and Gas Conference in Islamabad Thursday.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the country's energy sector faced serious challenges and some of them still haunt it because no concrete efforts were made to address them. He referred to the LNG import by the present government and said it was because of this significant initiative that today power plants are running, CNG sector is operating and we are exporting fertilizer and every industry is getting gas round the clock.
Abbasi who earlier headed the Ministry of Petroleum for four years said it was unfortunate that the industry has failed to come up with solid objective solutions, and said adhoc solutions were no answer. On the contrary, he said, it was the government that was coming up with solutions. He said the import of Liquified Natural Gas has helped the country adequately meet its energy needs, and asked for objective intellectual input for optimal use of renewable sources of energy.
He mentioned the completion of Liquified Natural Gas Terminals and associated transmission lines for the supply of gas upcountry in a record short period of 18 months and said it has turned the situation around.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said when the government came into power it faced a plethora of challenges including severe shortage of electricity, gas and Compressed Natural Gas for the transport sector. He said today with the import of LNG the country has exported 700,000 tons fertilizer, whereas earlier it imported a million tons.
He said today all gas consumers, particularly the industrial sector were getting uninterrupted supply, while imported gas was also being used to fuel the power houses. Abbasi said the country would soon have three LNG terminals that would pump gas across the country and help meet the future needs of its domestic and industrial users.
He regretted the unwarranted criticism on the government policies and said the PML-N government formulated a policy and pursued it vigorously and today its positive results were evident.
“Today things are moving forward. We have new reserves, oil production has increased to 100,000 barrels per day, which was substantial, but still not enough,” the Prime Minister said.
“Miracles do not happen, but it is the willingness to change, that makes the difference,” he said and added that much more needs to be done for the oil and gas exploration. He said the local companies need to deliver and added that the government was not interfering in their working.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan was the only country that was using RON-87 type of fuel, and it took an effort to convince the industry to switch over to the higher Euro grade RON-92 which was being used across the world. Similarly the country switched to Euro-II Diesel that was less damaging for the environment and like the CNG has been de-regulated.
He said two oil refineries of 250,000 barrels per day capacity were operational in the South and Central Pakistan, while plans were afoot to pump petrol and diesel upcountry through pipeline while cutting down on the cost and precious time through road transportation. He said the oil tankers would continue to provide service for further distribution across the country.
Abbasi said the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines would be using the imported LNG for distribution, instead of relying on domestic gas. He said now the locally produced gas would be used in the provinces from where it was being extracted.
He said the Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) was finally taking shape and would be operational in around four years’ time, while the Iran Pakistan gas pipeline was stuck up due to international sanctions.
The Prime Minister said provision of natural gas was critical for Pakistan and was the cheapest mode for power generation. He said he has directed to put an end to the use of Diesel for power generation as it was way too expensive. He said the world has also stopped the use of Furnace Oil, while Pakistan was still using it to produce 8500 MW of electricity.
He said Pakistan was also using imported coal to some extent for power generation, while it would take a while before it could use the Thar coal. He said the cost of power generation through wind and solar was lowering, however there was a need more studies for its optimal use.
Earlier the Prime Minister launched the Pakistan Energy Outlook 2017 that has been produced in collaboration with the NED University and provides an overview of the country’s energy sector and the changing energy mix over the next 15 years.
Chairman of the Petroleum Institute of Pakistan Georgio Guidi, Professor Dr Sarosh Hashmat Vice Chancellor of the NED University, CEO PIP Asim Murtaza spoke about the need for development of seamless linkages between the university and the industry, the need for optimally exploiting renewable energy and strategies to find a way forward for an ideal fuel mix to meet country’s future needs.