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Electricity prices to stabilise in two years: Minister

At a time when the government is raising electricity tariffs and phasing out power subsidy, the Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali gave hope to the masses by saying that the government will gradually reduce and stabilise the power tariff within the next two years.

Ali was, however, putting all his eggs in one basket as he relied on the realisation of the memorandum of understandings signed within three months to produce power from coal by the government.

“We are working day and night to shift the energy mix towards cheaper sources as the present energy mix, where power generation relies on diesel and furnace oil, is proving costly,” said Ali.

Resolution of the energy crisis was our (the government’s) top priority, thus installing coal-based power plants, hydropower projects and conversion of oil-powered plants to coal was the government’s main concern, Ali said while talking to the media at the National Engineering and Services (Nespak) complex.

The government was working to overcome the energy crisis for good by focusing on short, medium and long-term strategies, the minister added.

The National Energy Policy 2013, the first consensus-based document of its kind, had clearly outlined the objectives to transform Pakistan from being an energy-starved country to being self-sufficient in terms of energy, he said. “The nation will observe each passing day, better in terms of electricity generation,” Ali added.

The minister was visiting the Nespak complex to be briefed on the ongoing energy projects in the country for which Nespak was providing engineering consultancy services. The projects included the 969-megawatt (MW) Neelum-Jhelum Dam, 747MW combined-cycle power plant at Guddu, 500 kilovolt substation and association transmission lines in Rahim Yar Khan, rehabilitation of 22MW Jabban hydropower project and the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project.

The Gomal Zam powerhouse has been completed, and the government is hopeful that the 22MW-Jabban power project and 130MW Duber Khwar will start feeding the national grid from next month. Apart from that, 150MW more will be added to the national grid, the minister said.

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