Generation of Electricity Through Coal in Pakistan

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At present, the people are facing severe loadshedding/blackout problems due to shortage of power supply. Industries are closing down. Millions of Man hours have been lost leading to an increase in poverty and economic loss of billions of rupees to the country. It is happening despite the facts that about 60% of Pakistan’s population has an access to electricity. And according to World Energy Statistics 2011, published by IEA, Pakistan’s per capita electricity consumption is one-sixth of the World Average. World average per capita electricity Consumption is 2730 kWh compared to Pakistan’s per capita electricity consumption of 451kWh. It is imperative to understand the crises. According to Pakistan Energy Year Book 2011, Pakistan’s installed capacity for power generation is 22,477MW and the demand is approximately the same. The question arises that if the demand and supply has no gap then why we are facing such a crucial electricity crises. To get the answer we need to look into Pakistan’s electricity generation mix fuel wise. Unfortunately, oil & gas has 67% share in electricity generation. Pakistan is generating 35% of its electricity from furnace oil that is mostly imported. Pakistan spends over 12 billion US dollars for the import of furnace oil high speed diesel and crude petroleum that amount is equivalent to 60% of total export earnings and is a serious strain on country’s economy. It was recorded that in year 2011, the import of furnace oil increased by 19% compared to 2010 import. Moreover, the imported furnace oil is high sulphur furnace oil because low sulphur furnace oil is costly. The gaseous emissions from High sulphur furnace oil are polluting the environment and deteriorating the power plants as well. The bitter fact is that the per unit cost of electricity generated from imported furnace oil is high and is expected to increase further due to high forecasted increase in the oil prices. The per unit price of the electricity generated from furnace oil is neither viable for industrial consumers nor for domestic consumers. At the same time, Pakistan is generating 32% of its electricity from Natural Gas. According to Pakistan Energy Year Book, 2011, Pakistan has 27.5trillion cubic feet (TCF) balance recoverable gas reserves. Current gas production is 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) and the demand is 6 bcfd. The gas production is expected to fall to less than 01 bcfd by 2025 due to depletion and demand will increase to 8 bcfd. While depleting the indigenous natural gas reserves, about one third of the natural gas is used for electricity generation (32%) causing a severe domestic and industrial load shedding. That has significantly damaged country’s export earnings and increased the import bill. The proposed Iran gas pipeline would provide only 01 bcfd at a cost of $ 1.25 billion. The proposed TAPI gas pipeline would provide 3.2 bcfd to 3 countries at a cost of $ 7.6 billion. In response to a demand of 8 bcfd, we will be having 3 bcfd in 2025 if both proposed are completed. The gap will be 5 bcfd. The available gas will have 66% share of costly imported gas. In the light of above elucidated facts, it is evident that it will not be possible to feed gas based power plants in future that contribute 32 % of the power generation. In the light of above discussion, it is evident that electricity generated from Oil and gas is not an economically feasible option and the installed capacity of about 15000MW (67%) out of 22477MW would not be operational. International Energy Agency has forecasted that total electricity demandof the country will be 49078MW in 2025.This is a great challenge to enhance the installed capacity to 50000MW from 7000MW. Currently, Pakistan is generating 6481 MW of electricity from hydel sources that is 29% of the total installed capacity. If country completes all the proposed hydel projects including Bhasha Dam, the hydel contribution would be 15000MW until 2025 that is 29%. The biggest challenge...
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