Electricity: Solutions and Ongoing Projects

By: Afreen Baig


Mirani Dam inaugurated

Mirani Dam Inaugurated

Yahya Khan in the 1960’s, our governments failed to conceive and initiate major electricity projects.

 The inept governments of PML-N and PPP, that still consider themselves vital to democratic dialogue within the provinces, failed to create dialogue within provinces, on the most important issue facing Pakistan’s energy survival – the Kalabagh Dam. Their governments failed to plan for the future growth and energy requirements. Recently the government of PPP has scraped the project altogether.


Unexpected Economic Boom & Energy Consumption in the last 10 years

 Pakistan’s $75 billion economy boomed into a $160 billion economy, with the consumption of gas, electricity and coal increasing YEARLY to an average rate of 7.8 percent, 5.1 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.

 The number of electricity consumers grew from 15.9 million in 2005-06 to 16.7 million in 2007, showing a growth of about 70 percent over the last 10 years.

 The major Energy consumption sectors of the country are: Industrial (38.3 percent), Transport (32.8 percent), Residential and Commercial (25 percent), Agriculture (2.5 percent) and others (2.2 percent).

 As regards Electricity, the Household sector has been the largest consumer over the last 10 years, on average consuming 44.8 percent, followed by Industrial sector (29.4 percent), Agriculture (12.2 percent), Commercial sector (5.9 percent), Street lights (10.6 percent), the officials say.

Record Sales of Electronic Items

 Recently, we got good news from Pakistan Haier. In May, Pakistan Haier made new RECORD air-conditioner, refrigerator monthly output. The sale volume reached all time high, the year-on-year sale increase of Air-conditioner, Refrigerator, Washing machine, Micro wave and TV are 136%, 58%, 180%, 210% and 106% respectively. Similarly, many other Electronic Companies have created record sales.


Projects executed and under Construction

 The first unit of 290-megawatt of Ghazi Brotha Hydel Project (GBHP) went into operation in June 2003, and 

Hydro Power Invention

Hydro Power Invention

contributed around 50mw of electricity to the national grid. Four more units were added every quarter, and by 2004 the GBHP was contributing 1,450 mw.

Nuclear power plant Chashma-2, will soon come on-line, and will add another 300MW to the national grid.

Mangla Dam uprising will give another 644 GWh of power.  Gomal Zam Dam is under final stage of construction, and upon completion it will produce 17.4MW

According to Census of Electricity Establishments, 2005-06, Government of Pakistan,

In 1999, our installed capacity was merely 15,860 MW. (With Hydel 4826 + Thermal 10,897 + Nuclear 137)

 In 2005-06, our installed capacity increased to become 20,495 MW. (With Hydel 6499 + Thermal 13,534 + Nuclear 462)


Concrete steps under the PML-Q Government

 President Pervez Musharraf launched the Rs 130 billion (US 2.16 billion) Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric project aimed at producing 969 MW power.

Work on 11 projects with an accumulative power generation capacity of more than 12,000MW would start by 2009. 

These projects include Bunji (5,400MW), Dasu (4,000MW), Kohala (1,100MW), Spatgah and Palas Valley (1,230MW).

Wind and Solar Technology: Pakistan is seeking to explore alternative sources of energy production and use Wind and solar technologies with the aim to produce 9,700 MWwind power by 2030, thereby providing electricity to 7,874 off-grid villages in Sindh and Baluchistan.

225 wind water pumping systems have been installed in Balochistan. Over 140 micro wind turbines of 500 Watts each are operational in Sindh and Balochistan, providing electricity to 691 houses in 18  remote, off-grid villages.

Hydel Power: The government is giving top priority to Hydel power with the potential of producing 40,000 MW Power of which only 15 percent had been exploited so far. 

In 2001, the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan identified 22 sites for launching Hydropower projects to meet the ever-increasing demand for cheap power. It indicated that about 15,074 mw could be generated on the completion of these projects, which would also meet the water irrigation requirements for the growing agriculture sector.

  Pakistan Sugar Mills: Association (PSMA) has informed the government that sugar mills can produce 2,000MW of electricity in the next five years.

  Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission: (PAEC) has decided to establish an Engineering Design Organization (EDO) for the indigenous development of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the country. The PAEC informed authorities that it was planning to add about 1,260MW through Hydel power, 880MW from Alternate energy, 4,860MW from Gas, 900MW from Coal and 160MW from Oil by 2010.

 The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) is investing in a new 220-megawatt power plant that will help control the power shortages in the city, said. The plant will start generating 192MW by March and the remaining 28MW will start being distributed by December 2008.

Thar Coal: The government has decided to develop the Thar coal for power generation on a priority basis to overcome energy crisis following. Out of six various companies that inked MoU with concern authorities to establish coal power projects; two companies have started drilling work in their respective areas.

  • Confirmed estimates that its reserves were equivalent to at least 850 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of gas – about 30 times higher than Pakistan’s proven gas reserves of 28 TCF.
  • By using only 2% of the existing coal reserves, we can generate around 20,000 MW (20 GW) for almost 40 years
  • These estimates were confirmed by separate bankable feasibility studies conducted by Chinese and Russian experts.
  • 185 Billion Tons of coal deposits in Pakistan were second only to 247 Billion Ton reserves in the United States and much higher than 157 and 115 Billion Ton reserves of Russia and China, respectively.
  • Thar coal reserves were equivalent to at least 400 Billion Barrels of oil – equivalent to oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran put together. One estimate puts Pakistan’s coal energy at 576 Billion Barrels of oil which is equivalent to the combined oil reserves of the 3 largest producers.

The government is planning to set up 5,000-megawatt power generation facilities using coal as fuel within next few years.

Ongoing Power Projects

 The Ongoing Power Projects for which allocations have been made in 2007-08 Budget, are Mangla Dam Raising 

Mangla Dam Raising

Mangla Dam Raising

Project (Rs 20 billion), Mirani Dam (Rs 500 million), Sabakzai Dam (Rs 200 million), Kurram Tangi Dam (Rs 2.84 billion), Sadpara Multipurpose Dam Rs (900 million), Gomal Zam Dam (Rs 1.8 billion), the Greater Thal Canal Phase I (Rs 8.5 billion), the Greater Thal Canal Phase II (Rs 2.5 billion), construction of 20 small dams in NWFP (Rs 870 million), Bhasha/ Diamer Dam (Rs 500 million), Khan-Khawar hydro project (Rs 1.3 billion), Dubir Khawar hydro project (Rs 2.1 billion), transmission arrangements for power dispersal of Ghazi Barotha (Rs 1.67 billion) and Neelam-Jhelum hydro project (Rs 10 billion).


New projects for the next fiscal year include the Sukkur Barrage Rehabilitation and Improvement project (Rs 100 million), Akhori Dam PC I (Rs 200 million), construction of Jaban Hydroelectric Power Station and Jaban Hydroelectric Power Station (Rs 40 million).

Upcoming Immediate Projects

 Three rental power houses would start generating 1,067 megawatts of electricity by end of year 2008, respectively. Agreements had been signed with China to establish power plants at Nandipur and Chichu ki Malian, and tenders had been issued for two 500MW power plants at Dadu and Faisalabad which would be run by gas and furnace oil. An 800MW power plant would be set up at Guddu.


Future Planning for Dams 2000-2025



Afreen Baig is an independent analyst majoring in International Relations and Economics. She can be reached at afreenbaig@gmail.com



Filed under Electricity Generation, Industrial sector, Pakistan Economy

4 responses to “Electricity: Solutions and Ongoing Projects

  1. Ambreen khan

    Afreen& mirza
    love the blue. Kudos for the hard work that you have put in.

    Can we use the info …..
    best regards

  2. Shahzad Mughal

    Its a great approach.

  3. Dear,
    We are the leading manufacturer in lighting field and want to approval in mangla power plant waiting reply Mushtaq Hussain

  4. shabbir

    Planet of Earth Energy Crisis.

    Dear Sir

    Subject mater all our the World facing Energy problem So I am try to
    explain a idea for Old & New Dams / Reservoirs Hydel Civil Design can
    move in architectural Transition to increase our energy potential
    Because we are losing heavy quantum of already storage water in our
    Big Dams to generate past technology now need to convert into New
    theory of Technology.


    with best regards.

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