According to the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Programme, Pakistan’s energy consumption will continue to rise and is predicted to reach 108-126 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) by 2030. (Carec).
Carec stated in its recently issued Energy Outlook 2030 that Pakistan’s energy consumption in 2018 was around 96 million TOE.
“Pakistan’s energy production comprises of oil, natural gas, and coal. However, due to insufficient investment in exploration and development operations, the country has become increasingly dependent on imports, with approximately 40% of its entire primary energy supply imported, according to the research.
It went on to say that Pakistan’s energy industry was heavily reliant on fossil fuel imports and that, due to insufficient exploration and development, the country was a significant importer of fossil fuels such as oil and coal.
Coal is mostly produced in Pakistan’s Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh regions. From 3.3 million tonnes in 2015, the country increased production to approximately 6.8 million tonnes in 2019.
Nonetheless, Pakistan imported around 15 million tonnes of coal to meet demand, despite the fact that the country’s total coal resources are believed to be more than 185 billion tonnes, of which 175 billion tonnes are in Sindh’s Tharparkar area.
According to the analysis, coal consumption in Pakistan was only expected to rise in the BAU (business as usual) scenario, while the government’s pledges indicated steady consumption and the “green growth” scenario predicted a reduction.
“Shifting to cheaper fuel sources can help the government reduce electricity bills.”Using local coal is the best accessible alternative,” said Intermarket Securities Head of Investment Banking Syed Saifullah Kazmi.
He said that the developments in indigenous coal exploration were encouraging, yet a lot needed to be done, considering the massive reserves Pakistan had.
“Local coal reserves are sufficient to meet energy demand by 2030 (even beyond that), as projected in the report,” Kazmi emphasised. Yet, he added, the country’s coal-based power generation dropped 41% month-on-month in November 2022.
“The cost of power generation from coal was just Rs12.8 per kWh (kilowatt hour),” Kazmi pointed out, adding that it proved how beneficial local coal could be in efforts to resolve the power crisis.
Fossil fuels will still provide 60% of energy in 2040, compared to 85% today, but the pattern of use will change, away from coal and towards gas, and increasingly concentrated in industry.