Islamabad’s plan is not to build new gas plants
Pakistan plans to quadruple its domestic coal-fired power generation capacity to lower power generation costs and will not build any new gas-fired plants in the coming years as it seeks to ease a crippling currency crisis.
This was stated by the Minister of Energy of the country in an exclusive interview with Reuters.
The news service added: “A shortage of natural gas, which provides over a third of the country’s electricity generation, left large areas in the dark last year. A sharp rise in global liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices following an influx of Russia in Ukraine and severe economic crisis have made LNG unaffordable for Pakistan.
LNG is no longer part of the long-term plan,” Pakistan’s Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan told Reuters, adding that the country plans to increase its domestic coal-fired power capacity to 10 gigawatts (GW) in the medium term from 2.31 GW right now.
Pakistan’s plan to switch to coal to provide its citizens with reliable electricity highlights the challenges of devising effective decarbonisation strategies at a time when some developing countries are struggling to maintain their energy systems.
Reuters adds: “In addition to coal plants, Pakistan also plans to increase its fleet of solar, hydro and nuclear power plants, Dastgir said, without elaborating. If the proposed plants are built, it could widen the gap between Pakistan’s electricity demand and installed power generation capacity, which may force the country to idle power plants…
It was not immediately clear how Pakistan would finance the proposed coal park, but Dastgir said the creation of new power plants would depend on “investor interest,” which he expects to increase once the viability of newly built coal plants is proven.
Financial institutions in China and Japan, which are among the biggest financiers of coal blocks in developing countries, have in recent years backed away from financing fossil fuel projects under pressure from activists and Western governments.”
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