FPCCI backs regional power grid to curb power outages
ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has backed the government’s decision to operationalise CASA 1000 project and buy power from Russia and Turkmenistan.
President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam said on Sunday said that the decision would help the government shut power plants generating expensive electricity and enable it to serve industrial and domestic customers.
Abdul Rauf Alam said that the business community lauded the decision to accept the offer of Russia and Turkmenistan to join the Central Asia-South Asia (Casa) 1,000 power supply project. CASA 1000 was supposed to bring 1,000 to 1,300 megawatts of clean energy from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan but now it would also help other nations to export their surplus electricity to energy-starved Pakistan, he added.
Alam said that Tajikistan’s energy sector has been showing growth for the last 15 years generating surplus electricity, which should be capitalised as early as possible. He lauded the government for adopting open access regime which would allow other countries to inject energy into the CASA transmission line without legal complications and saving infrastructure costs.
The FPCCI president said that CASA electricity market would help to utilise Central Asia’s power resources to meet the growing demand in South Asia while it would contribute to stability in Afghanistan and boost inter-dependent prosperity. India can also benefit from the surplus electricity to tame its power outages, he noted.
Pakistan is currently importing 73MW from Iran to meet the needs of Gwadar at the cost of 6.25 cents per unit, which is higher than 5.15 cents to be paid to Tajikistan. The cost of Iranian electricity is higher because of oil and gas-based power generation while Tajikistan produces it through cheaper hydroelectric power,” he added.
Alam said that security remains the biggest question mark hanging over the project, which can pave the way for a regional power grid since a substantial part of the transmission line would have to travel through Afghanistan.
Source : Online