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ICCI welcomes US assistance for energy sector

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has welcomed the decision of the United States Congress to release $280 million for Pakistan’s energy sector, a statement said on Saturday.

Yasir Sakhi Butt, president of the ICCI, termed it a positive step for the country’s crippling energy sector, which could ultimately help overcome the prevailing energy crisis in the country, it said.

These funds would have a positive impact on the entire energy sector, as it meant to increase energy production, as well as improve electricity distribution, he said, adding that it is likely to add 900MW to the national grid by 2013.

Release of funds for Pakistan’s energy sector would demonstrate a marked improvement in the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States, said Butt, adding that the energy shortages had hampered the pace of economic growth and urged the investors of the United States to invest in the energy sector as Pakistan needs a quantum jump in electricity and gas generation to bridge supply and demand gap.

The United States investors should also invest in wind energy because Pakistan has potential of wind energy ranging from 10,000MW to 50,000MW but currently it is producing very small quantity of power from this source due to the lack of foreign investment.

Delay in fulfillment of export consignments has become a matter of routine due to power outages but infrastructural improvement in various dams because of release of funds by the United States would increase the country’s energy resources and help the power sector institutions more effectively meet the energy needs of industries, as well as household sector, he said.

Butt said that the government should also strive hard to attract other foreign investors by giving them lucrative incentives to invest in the energy projects, aiming at bringing down expensive oil-based energy generation in the country.

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