ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Assembly was told that during the period 2013-2018, more than 11,000 megawatts (MW) new electricity generation projects were completed, helping to bridge the demand-supply gap as of 2018.
Replying to a question by MNA Naveed Aamir Jeeva, the Minister for Energy (Power Division) Khurram Dastagir Khan told the Lower House on Wednesday that new cheaper, local Thar-coal based projects of 2,640 MW as well as hydel projects were initiated during the same period.
However, he added, that during 2018-22, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as Thar-coal projects were not completed.
The minister said that new alternative-energy projects were also not initiated during 2018-22 to meet demand which kept on rising, creating a peak demand-supply gap of 6,000 MW during summer of 2022.
This has caused load management as well as increased electricity prices due to unprecedented rise in international prices of fossil-fuel since beginning of 2022, he said.
Khurram Dastagir apprised that the current government has: (1) taken a 10,000 MW fast-track solar PV Initiative; (2) facilitated and expedited completion of Thar Coal projects and pending hydel-power projects for sustainable and indigenous generation of electricity that will be cheaper for the Pakistani consumer.
To another question, the minister told the House that it is fact that the majority of areas of Balochistan do not have electricity.
The energy minister said that there are many factors that play pivotal role regarding provision of electricity to the residents of Balochistan which are as under;
Balochistan’s 53% population is scattered in 33 districts (except district Lasbela which is provided electricity by KE).
Far flung areas, coastal belt and rugged terrain make the cost of distribution grid prohibitive and expensive.
The construction of electricity schemes by QESCO fail under PSDP, SDGs & MDGs Program.
After the identification of the Energy Department, Government of Balochistan, QESCO (Project Directorate) carries out the survey & prepares PC-1 for un-electrified village and after release of funds, the work is executed.
Hence, it depends upon the population covered availability of funds.