United States Committed to Support Power Sector in Pakistan

Islamabad: The second and last day of Pak-US Energy Dialogue concluded with a reaffirmation from the US side for its commitment to help Pakistan in its endeavours to resolve the energy crises which is affecting the socio0econom, ic progress of the country. US offered its support to establishing a commercially viable and sustainable power sector in Pakistan.

The fourth round of Pakistan-United States Energy Dialogue was held in Islamabad. US delegation which was lead by Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Ambassador Carlos Pascual comprised leading officials of USAID, OAPA, and SRAP had protracted discussions with representatives of Pakistan’s key Energy Sector stakeholders including Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs, Water and Power, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Planning Commission, WAPDA, PEPCO/NTDC, NEPRA, PPIB, AEDB and ENERCON.

Pakistani team was lead by Minister for Water and Power, Syed Naveed Qamar, who welcomed the US delegation and appreciated US’s keen interest in development of Pakistan’s economy by addressing its growing energy requirements.

The Minister expressed that lack of sufficient energy resources have come out to be one of the biggest impediments in growth of Pakistan’s economy, as energy resources happen to be the fuel for any economy.

He informed that since its inception, the incumbent government lead by Pakistan People’s Party is striving hard to deal with the energy crises on urgent basis. He appreciated that the US has always understood Pakistan’s energy requirement and have resolved to stand by it in its efforts to bridge the widening gap in energy demand and supply.

He apprised that the Government of Pakistan is working on short, medium and long term measures to address the energy requirements on sustainable basis, while keeping in view national energy security objectives at the same time.

During the two day dialogue, the participant had in detail discussions on issues confronted by Pakistan power sector in particular and energy sector in general. The participants had threadbare discussions on Pakistan’s power sector, the available generation capacity, plans for enhancing power generation capacity and the demand side management.

The US delegation was also updated by the concerned officials about various ongoing reforms including status of transformation of Pakistan power sector from integrated public sector utilities model towards competitive market regime.

The issues hampering the progress on various reforms were also discussed in detail, including but not limited to circular debt, fuel availability constraints, soaring high prices of Oil, and the worsening fuel mix due to more dependence of thermal projects especially based on oil due to fastly depleting natural gas reserves.

Representative of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources also gave a detailed picture of present situation of Pakistan’s energy resources and future plans of exploring indigenous oil and gas. A detailed presentation was also given on role of IPPs in Pakistan power sector and various incentives offered by the Government to enhance private sector role in the power sector.

Detailed discussions were also held on various regional energy initiatives like import of LNG, TAPI, CASA and discussion with Uzbekistan for energy trade.

The representatives of private sector also gave an update regarding their experience in Pakistan. The two parties also discussed status of various energy sector projects being implemented with USAID assistance.

Ambassador Pascual appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to make its energy sector more sustainable by implementing reforms in the power sector. He emphasized that improved governance, efficiency regulatory reforms to enhance private sector participation and financial management are key to achieve success.

He reiterated that US will provide assistance through all possible means to address Pakistan’s energy issues on sustainable basis. The two parties agree to continue the dialogue process

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