PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges Punjab to focus on power thru coal

Lahore, June 02, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday urged the Punjab government to allocate maximum funds for electricity generation though coal in the upcoming budget as 12 to 14 hours power cuts have totally crippled its economy.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh suggested to the government to utilize coal for cheaper electricity that would be costing only Rs 8 to Rs 8.50 per unit against the thermal electricity that is Rs 16 plus per unit.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that it was very unfortunate that Pakistan at the moment is producing only one per cent of its electricity by coal when neighboring India is making around 70 percent of its total electricity by coal, China 80 per cent, South Africa 93 per cent, Poland 92 per cent, Australia 77 percent, Kazakhstan 70 per cent and United States 49 percent.

The LCCI President said that the province would become a hub of economic activities and its progress would be exemplary if the Punjab government comes up with a comprehensive coal policy in its budget.

“The budget document would be more meaningful and result oriented if Punjab government successfully satiates the energy needs of the trade and industry in the province that is the hardest hit in the recent energy shortages.”

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that it is deplorable that in neighboring India businessmen were doing their businesses or running their industrial units with peace of mind and full concentration but in Pakistan the Industrial closures and flight of capital is order of the day.

The LCCI President said that the government’s reliance on thermal generation has reversed the energy mix that needs to be corrected in the larger interests of the country.

The LCCI president said that historically, coal has been used as a major source of energy for hundred of years. The industrial revolution and enhanced use of electricity was also due to coal. Until sixties, coal was the single largest source of primary energy.

Large discoveries of oil and gas resulted in massive switchover from coal to furnace oil and gas. However, once again there is a shift back to use of coal as a major source of energy. Many developed and developing countries have already reverted back to coal. The transition is being facilitated by Clean Coal Technologies and availability of coal at competitive price.

He said that the country at the moment is spending billions of dollars annually to meet its primary energy requirements. Oil and POL import bill is expected to further increase due to inadequate gas supply.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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