LAHORE: Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif Tuesday said that the government had planned to induct about 10,000 MW of electricity from coal and gas resources in next three years.
Addressing a seminar regarding 57 years of inception of Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) here, the Minister said the government was particularly focusing on addition of low-cost electricity to the national grid to meet the increasing energy requirements.
Hydel generation, he added, was the preferred resource of electricity generation requiring huge capital investment for which different financing models were being considered and WAPDA would engage with the private sector for financing of hydropower projects in the country.
China had shown a great deal of interest in Diamer-Basha Dam Project and Dasu Hydropower Project on the Indus Cascade, he said.
Khawaja Asif highlighted the imperative of addressing the water challenge and said that in addition to constructing new water reservoirs to store water, the government was also taking steps to apprise people about the need for water conservation.
People should learn to make judicious use of scarce energy resources, and cutting down on extravagant use of water, electricity and gas should become part of our national character, which could save up to 1500 MW, he mentioned.
Efforts were being made to minimize line losses by upgrading the transmission infrastructure, he added.
In his welcome address, WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mahmood said that WAPDA had played an important role in socio-economic development of the country for the last 57 years.
He said that water storage capacity of the country increased from 0.15 million acre feet (MAF) in 1958 to 18 MAF in 2015, adding that likewise, the electricity generation capacity registered an increase from 119 MW in 1958 to 17,000 MW till 2007, when WAPDA was unbundled and its mandate now limited to operation and maintenance of existing hydel power stations and construction of new water and hydropower projects.
Zafar Mahmood said that WAPDA also had the credit of developing integrated National Grid system and inducted all electricity generated from various resources into it.
He said, three under-construction WAPDA projects namely 969MW-Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, 1410MW-Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project and 106MW-Golen Gol Hydropower Project would come online in two to three years.
He vowed to make WAPDA transparent and corruption-free national institution of the country.
Earlier, renowned columnist Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi presented a set of recommendations aimed at expanding the scope of WAPDA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that was formulated in a consultative meeting of renowned intellectuals, opinion-makers, writers and senior media persons of the country in the Lahore Arts Council a day before.
The WAPDA Member (Power), Member (Finance) and Advisor to WAPDA on Diamer-Basha Dam gave comprehensive presentations on the performance of their wings.
While, former WAPDA Chairmen Lt. Gen. (R) Zulifkar Ali Khan, Tariq Hamid and Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, intellectuals, senior media persons and former WAPDA officers attended the seminar.