Public Talk on “Dynamics of Pakistan’s Energy Security”
September 13, 2019
WELCOME REMARKS BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL
Worthy Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I extend you all, a warm welcome to the Institute of Strategic Studies.
We are gathered here today for a Public Talk on Dynamics of Pakistan’s Energy Security. Our guest Speaker for the event is Dr. Gul Faraz Ahmed, former Federal Secretary in Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources.
The topic for today’s public talk is important. Especially for Pakistan, as we recently went through one of the worst energy crises in our history. The shortfall of energy became a major impediment to economic development. Even today, we experience shortfalls in the power sector and the natural gas sector, though at a much lower level than in the recent past. Power shortages cost billions of rupees to Pakistan’s economy every year. Hence the importance of energy security.
Given the importance of this subject, we had organized a public talk in April this year by an experienced former director of the world bank, Mr Ziad Aladad who educated us about Resolving Pakistan’s Energy Dilemma, a critical starting point and role of CPEC.
After Mr. Aladad’s talk, we received a positive feedback of the event. We are, therefore, pleased to host this second talk on this important subject, this time by former Secretary Petroleum Dr Gul Faraz Ahmad.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Energy is the blood line of industry and economy. No country in the world can conceive of economic progress without achieving energy security.
Power supply deficits in our country have been exacerbated by the fluctuating oil prices in the international market, higher costs due to gradual phasing out of subsidy, and the circular debt problem.
The Government is taking diverse measures to circumvent this crisis. Expansion and refurbishment of the existing power plants, induction of new power plants, and encouragement of renewable energy are some of the measures being taken.
Most of the power projects under CPEC have already been completed, or are at near completion phase of the construction. This has helped us in addressing energy shortfalls in the country to quite an extent. For future energy supplies, Pakistan can also meet some of its demand from projects like CASA and TAPI. A feasible source of supply through IP gas pipeline became a victim of US sanctions against Iran.
On balance, power creation is one area where considerable progress has been made in the past few years. However, transmitting all that power with minimal pilferage and losses to the industry and households is the real challenge.
We would, therefore, need to take an expansive view of both demand and supply sides of the equation. Consumption patterns and future needs of all consumer segments should be assessed along with the potential implications of our energy choices for the consumers.
The International Renewable Energy Agency has noted the absence of an Integrated Energy Plan as a fundamental challenge faced by the country’s energy sector. There is a need to develop a strategic plan with participation from public and private sector stakeholders.
I hope that this public talk will stimulate our thinking further on the importance and dynamics of energy security, which is so vital for the present and future of Pakistan.
Thank you all once again for gracing this important event.