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Electricity in Pakistan is generated, transmitted, distributed and retail supplied by two vertically integrated public sector utilities; Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) - For the whole Pakistan (Except Karachi) and the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) - For the City of Karachi and its surrounding Areas. There are around 16 independent power producers that contributes significantly in electricity generation in Pakistan. [1]

For years, the matter of balancing Pakistan's supply against the demand for electricity has remained a largely unresolved matter. Pakistan faces a significant challenge in revamping its network responsible for the supply of electricity.

While the government claims credit for overseeing a turnaround in the economy through a comprehensive recovery, it has just failed to oversee a similar improvement in the quality of the network for electricity supply.

Some officials even go as far as claiming that the frequent power cuts across Pakistan today are indicative of an emerging prosperity as there is fast rising demand for electricity. And yet, the failure to meet the demand is indeed indicative of a challenge to that very prosperity. Pakistan's electricity producers are now seeking a parity in returns for both domestic and foreign investors which indicates it to be one of the key unresolved issues in overseeing a surge in electricity generation when the country faces growing shortages.

Contrary to Pakistani government and expatriate claims, Pakistan suffers from a massive electricity shortage[2]. Electricity generation in Pakistan has shrunk by 50% in recent years due to an overreliance on hydroelectric power[3]. In 2008, availability of power in Pakistan falls short of the population's needs by 15%[4]Pakistan was hit by its worst power crisis in 2007, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto by Islamic militants and the subsequent riots. Production fell by 6000 Megawatts and massive blackouts followed suit. The blame was laid on the then president, Pervez Musharraf, and was instrumental in his defeat.[4]. Load Shedding (deliberate blackouts) and power blackouts have become severe in Pakistan in recent years[5]. The NWFP areas of Pakistan, predominantly controlled by Taliban, have had virtually no power until the Taliban were forced back.[6] The main problem with Pakistan's poor power generation is rising political instability, together with rising demands for power and lack of efficiency.[7]

Contents

Installed Capacity

  • Electricity - total installed capacity: 19,505 MW (2007)[8]
  • Electricity - Sources (2007)
    • fossil fuel - 12,580 MW - 65% of total
    • hydro - 6,463 MW - 33% of total
    • nuclear - 462 MW - 2% of total

Electricity production

  • Electricity - production: 88.42 TWh (2005)
  • Electricity - production by source (2003)
    • fossil fuel: 63.7% of total
    • hydro: 33.9% of total
    • nuclear: 2.4% of total

Growing demand

Supply and Demand of Electricity in Pakistan
Supply and Demand Position: 2008-2020 (MW)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Existing Generation 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903 15,903
Proposal / Committed Generation 530
4,235
7,226
10,115
10,556
13,307
13,520
14,607
16,134
18,448
18,448
18,448
18,448
Total Existing/Committed Generation 16,484 20,138 23,129 26,018 26,459 29,210 29,423 30,510 32,037 34,351 34,351 34,351 34,351
Expected Available Generation 13,146 16,110 18,503 20,814 21,167 23,368 23,538 24,408 25,630 27,481 27,481 27,481 27,481
Demand (Summer Peak) 16,484 17,868 19,352 20,874 22,460 24,126 25,919 28,029 30,223 35,504 34,918 37,907 41,132
Surplus/Deficit Generation -3,338 -1,758 -849 -60 -1,293 -758 -2,381 -3,621 -4,593 -8,023 -7,437 -10,426 -13,651
Source: Private Power and Infrastructure Board - Govt. of Pakistan [9]

In the short run addressing difficult challenges such as the demand for a parity of treatment to both domestic and foreign investors must make some difference by way of attracting investors across the board. Given the growing demand for electricity, foreign investors must have a role in helping Pakistan meet this challenge.

But the challenges faced by Pakistan are by no means easy. It is indeed the case that the business of reforming the electricity supply network is just not about short term and often incomplete measures of the kind that Pakistanis have been accustomed to.

Even if Pakistan successfully set aside the vast funds which are necessary to finance such a turn-around, the time taken to ensure the supply of all the technical ingredients must in itself make the task formidably challenging.

Popular habits

In the environment which prevails across the world today, there is already a considerable line-up of both individuals and countries which have placed orders to buy new equipment. Indeed, Pakistani officials are all too aware of international market conditions which only add to the difficulty surrounding their task.

Though sorting out global market conditions are just not in reach of one country alone, other matters are indeed within Pakistan's grasp. These include the need to turn around popular habits which hardly help to curtail the usage of electricity, with wastages and deliberate inefficiencies being the principal factors. But the lead for such an endeavour must come in part from Pakistani leaders.

Electricity consumption

  • Electricity - consumption: 74.62 TWh (2004)
  • Electricity - exports: 0%
  • Electricity - imports: 0%
  • Electricity Consumption per Capita = 430.183 kWh/capita (2006)[10]

See also

References

External links

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