Pakistan’s Hydel Potential 

The hydel power potential of Pakistan is substantial and remains significantly untapped, despite the country’s abundance of water resources. Primarily located in the northern regions, the hydel potential of Pakistan is estimated at approximately 41,722 MW, predominantly situated in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Northern Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Punjab.

The development of hydropower in Pakistan began in the early 20th century, with the construction of the Renala 1 MW hydropower station in 1925. This was followed by several other projects, such as the Malakand-I and Dargai hydropower stations, which helped to establish the foundation for hydropower development in the country. At the time of Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the country had a very limited power base of only 60 MW to serve its population of 31.5 million people. By 1958, with the creation of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the hydel potential capacity had increased to 119 MW.

Major projects like the Warsak (240 MW), Mangla (1000 MW), and Tarbela (3478 MW) hydropower projects were constructed following the Indus Water Treaty in 1960, which allocated Pakistan 142 million acre-feet (MAF) of water from the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab rivers. Despite these developments, only about 15% of Pakistan’s hydel potential has been harnessed so far.

The existing hydropower infrastructure in Pakistan includes a total installed capacity of 6,595 MW, with the following regional distribution: 3,767 MW in NWFP, 1,698 MW in Punjab, 1,036 MW in AJK, and 93 MW in the Northern Areas. The remaining potential, estimated at approximately 35,127 MW, remains untapped and presents a significant opportunity for future development.

The hydel power projects in Pakistan are categorised based on their stage of implementation:

  1. Projects in Operation: These include established hydropower plants such as Tarbela, Mangla, and Ghazi Barotha, among others.
  2. Projects Under Implementation in the Public Sector: These projects are currently being developed by government entities like WAPDA.
  3. Projects Under Implementation in the Private Sector: Encouraged by government policies, these projects involve private investment and participation.
  4. Projects with Completed Feasibility Studies: These projects have undergone detailed feasibility analyses and are awaiting further development.
  5. Projects with Completed Pre-Feasibility Studies or Raw Sites: These projects have been identified as having potential but require further studies to confirm their viability.
See also  Comment: Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Production & Distribution) Policy, 2016

The regional hydel potential highlights include:

  • NWFP: Identified potential sites amount to a capacity of 18,698 MW. The Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO) plays a pivotal role in this region.
  • Punjab: About 5,895 MW of potential sites have been identified, primarily along canal sites.
  • AJK: Approximately 4,635 MW of potential has been identified, with several projects in various stages of development.
  • Northern Areas: This region has identified sites with a total capacity of 12,314 MW, though development is hampered by the absence of high power transmission lines.

The government has implemented various policies to attract private investment in the hydel sector, recognizing the need for substantial investment to harness this potential. The “Policy for Power Generation Projects 2002” was a significant step in this direction, offering competitive terms and simplifying procedures to encourage both domestic and international investors.

In conclusion, Pakistan’s hydel power potential is a critical resource that, if fully exploited, could significantly contribute to meeting the country’s growing electricity demand in a cost-effective manner. The comprehensive development of this sector requires coordinated efforts from both public and private sectors, supported by favourable policies and substantial investment.

Pakistan’s Coal Potential

Pakistan possesses immense coal resources, estimated at over 185.5 billion tonnes, positioning it as one of the world’s leading countries in terms of coal reserves. The coal potential of Pakistan, primarily distributed across Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), offers a substantial opportunity for power generation and economic development.

The most significant coal deposits are found in the Thar region of Sindh, which alone accounts for approximately 175.5 billion tonnes of coal. The discovery of the Thar coalfield has considerably elevated Pakistan’s status in the global coal industry. Thar coal is classified as lignite with low sulfur and ash content, making it suitable for power generation, albeit with challenges related to its high moisture content. The development of the Thar coalfield is critical for Pakistan’s energy security, as it has the potential to generate more than 100,000 MW of electricity for the next 30 years.

See also  Marginal/Stranded Gas Fields - Gas Pricing Criteria and Guidelines, 2013

Despite this potential, Pakistan’s coal sector remains underdeveloped due to several factors:

  1. Lack of Infrastructure: The absence of necessary infrastructure, such as transportation networks and power plants, has hindered the efficient exploitation of coal resources.
  2. Insufficient Financing: Developing coal mines and related infrastructure requires significant investment, which has been limited by financial constraints and the public sector’s inability to allocate sufficient budget for these projects.
  3. Technical Expertise: The coal mining industry in Pakistan has historically suffered from a lack of modern technical expertise, further impeding its development.

The Government of Pakistan has recognised these challenges and introduced policies to attract private investment and promote the development of coal resources. The “Policy for Power Generation Projects 2002” is a pivotal initiative designed to facilitate international and domestic investment in coal-based power projects. This policy offers various incentives, including fiscal and financial benefits, to encourage the development of coal mines and coal power plants.

Significant efforts are underway to exploit the coal resources of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, NWFP, and AJK. Each province has its unique coal deposits with varying qualities and quantities:

  • Sindh: In addition to Thar, Sindh has other coalfields at Lakhra, Sonda, Jherruck, and Indus East. Lakhra coal, known for its high sulfur content, has been confirmed as suitable for power generation through feasibility studies.
  • Balochistan: Balochistan’s coal resources, although smaller in volume compared to Sindh, include the Sor-Range/Degari, Khost-Sharigh-Harnai-Ziarat, Mach, and Duki coalfields. These coals generally have high calorific values, making them suitable for various industrial uses.
  • Punjab: The coal deposits in Punjab, primarily located in the Salt-Range and Makarwal, are characterised by their high heating values, making them attractive for power generation and industrial applications.
  • NWFP: The coal resources in NWFP, found in areas like Hangu and Cherat, offer potential for localised power generation projects.
  • AJK: Coal deposits in AJK, particularly in the Kotli area, add to the diverse coal resources available in Pakistan.
See also  Oil, Gas, Mining And Energy Law

The development of coal resources in Pakistan presents both opportunities and challenges. The opportunities lie in the potential to significantly enhance the country’s energy security and reduce dependency on imported fuels. The challenges, however, are multifaceted and include ensuring a reliable supply of coal, managing environmental impacts, and attracting sustainable investment.

In conclusion, Pakistan’s coal potential is a critical component of its energy strategy, offering substantial benefits if properly harnessed. The government’s policies and initiatives aim to overcome existing barriers and promote the development of coal-based power generation, ultimately contributing to the country’s economic growth and energy security.

By The Josh and Mak Team

Josh and Mak International is a distinguished law firm with a rich legacy that sets us apart in the legal profession. With years of experience and expertise, we have earned a reputation as a trusted and reputable name in the field. Our firm is built on the pillars of professionalism, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to providing excellent legal services. We have a profound understanding of the law and its complexities, enabling us to deliver tailored legal solutions to meet the unique needs of each client. As a virtual law firm, we offer affordable, high-quality legal advice delivered with the same dedication and work ethic as traditional firms. Choose Josh and Mak International as your legal partner and gain an unfair strategic advantage over your competitors.

error: Content is Copyright protected !!