Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Chairman WAPDA assures to hike hydro power share to 50 percent by 2050

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ISLAMABAD, SEPT 28 (DNA) – Lt. Gen. Muzammil Hussain (Retd), Chairman WAPDA said that hydro power share in total energy mix would be increased to 50 percent by 2050 to provide cheap energy that would give boost to business activities and accelerate economic growth.

He said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

He gave a detailed presentation to the business community on Diamer Bhasha, Dasu, Mohmand and other dams being constructed by the WAPDA.

He said that the business community deserved a lot of appreciation as despite high energy cost and power shortage, they have been doing a tremendous job to promote business activities and run the wheel of the economy.

Chairman WAPDA said that average water storage capacity in the world was 40 percent as compared to less than 10 percent in Pakistan and WAPDA was taking many initiatives to improve water storage capacity by building more dams in the country. He said that WAPDA pushed the government to negotiate with IPPs and if new terms with IPPs were implemented, it would save Rs.700-800 billion per annum.

He said that Diamer Bhasha dam has created tremendous opportunities for the business community, especially of steel cement, transport and other sectors and they should fully capitalize on these opportunities for business growth.

He said that unbundling of WAPDA was strategically a bad decision as it created disharmony in decision making in the power sector and gave rise to circular debt. However, he said that the government was looking at these issues seriously and hopefully would make some good decisions.

He said that the business community should further enhance its interface with WAPDA that would pave the way for better business growth and bring prosperity to Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry appreciated the efforts of Chairman WAPDA for building dams and generating hydropower that would bring down the cost of doing business. He said that electricity was a key raw material for many industries and hiking hydropower share would give boost to industrialization and business activities. He also lauded WAPDA for getting a stable rating from 3 rating agencies of the world that was a great achievement for it.

Mian Akram Farid, Chairman Founder Group said that high power cost has made the domestic industry uncompetitive for exports and stressed that major focus should be on hydropower to reduce production cost. He said that Pakistan has 250 locations for setting up small power plants, but the license award process was not fair. He said that the performance of Discos should be improved and the fuel adjustment charges system should be revised to save industry from extra burden.

Tahir Abbasi Senior Vice President ICCI thanked Chairman WAPDA for visiting the Chamber and giving a comprehensive presentation to the business community. Saif ur Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI, Mian Shaukat Masud, Ms. Fatima Azeem, Khalid Malik, Malik Sohail Hussain, Babar Chaudhry Khalid Chaudhry and others also spoke at the occasion and gave many suggestions for further improving current energy sector.=DNA

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