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THE promise of change is coming! The first approach to catch the gas and electrical energy thieves must be supported whole-heartedly because without this nothing will work.

Gas thieves are sponsored by authorities in charge of gas distribution and this can be, and should be, checked immediately. One will be surprised to note the gas availability even if 50 per cent of stolen gas is stopped. This can be done if honest team of engineers are given this task urgently, and gas thieves should be given exemplary punishments as they have ruined our chances of industrial development.

Similarly, electricity thieves need to be caught and, in this, Wapda employees (including Gencos) have a big contribution. Each spoilt employee, getting electricity to sell to huge number of neighbours, needs to be identified and punished since they are the nucleus of further theft. How can they be interested in catching bigger thieves if they are stealing themselves.

After this, the new managers need to check the ‘technical’ losses and this is where the government must talk to industrial and large commercial concerns to conserve.

For gas conservation, follow the policies of sanctioning gas only to efficient combined heat and power (CHP) systems and immediately save 35-40 per cent.

A visit to just one road in Raiwind would show a large number of industries with gas sanctioned for engine- based power generation and then further gas sanction for steam and hot water generation. If these two processes could be combined in CHP, you would notice substantial gas saving (possible up to 40 per cent).

If this example could be repeated in literally thousands of industries, mainly in Punjab and Sindh/Hub areas, we would have a susbstantial change in our energy scenario in one/two years, depending on how fast we can move towards this technology. For large commercial buildings, sanctioning of gas for most inefficient absorption chillers is something we just cannot afford.

Again, if efficient CHP installations are ensured, we can save considerable gas and produce more power to meet the shortages. Combined heat and power systems are sure way of conservation and all developed economies ensure this to remain competitive.

The US, with very large numbers of CHP installations, is enforcing laws to add 80,000 MW of CHP between 2012 and 2020! We are all talking about ‘low- cost’ power and yet we are not using efficient CHP when the gas sanctioning laws only permitted this for a long long time!

We are ready to offer 9.5 US cents to new coal power plants, but we are not ready to accept this price to be paid to industrialists and owners of commercial buildings if they produce additional power with CHP, using the existing sanctioned gas. While the former will involve huge infrastructure, the latter could supply power to the areas around the CHP installations with minimum losses and no chance of theft.

Just ensuring only one split aircondition unit in the house would ensure avoidance of loadshedding for many hours throughout the country. Most of our industries, including Pakistan Steel Mills, are based on inefficient processes, so are most of our buildings, called ‘red’ buildings (and not green for sustainable design).

We have to change and bring efficiency and sustainability in our basic approach, catching thieves and following conservation in our basic attempt to survive.


Comments (6) Closed

Khuram Pervez Jun 17, 2013 06:57am

I appreciate your suggestions. This is true that without installing new power plants, Pakistan can save a considerable proportion of its energy by implementing a proper energy management strategy. With respect to your opinion on Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, CHP systems are only feasible in places where there is a consistent thermal and electrical load demands. In Pakistan, there is alway electrical demand offcourse, but thermal loads are not always available. USA and European countries have cold climate and offer consistent thermal demand. That is why CHPs are successful in these countries. However in countries like Pakistan, thermal delivery of CHP systems could be used to generate cooling through absorption chillers as there is high cooling demand available during summer months . Although it may not be a cost effective way as the COP of the absorption chillers is as low as 0.7- 0.8. In Pkistan, CHP systems will work fine in textile industry where there are both electrical and thermal demands available. Pakistan needs to explore all possible opportunities to overcome its energy crises, and a very good start of that could be by bringing a National Energy Policy that should include short term and long term targets for energy generation, energy distribution and should also emphasis on energy management side, such as introducing smart meters to improve the monitoring of energy consumption.

akram Jun 17, 2013 03:14pm

the system surely needs overhaul, if the distribution system has not installed meters, they should be doing so. installing so at the top we can monitor how much of each resource is being used at each residence. Installation of meters and monitoring is the only way to force locals to pay their dues. Expecting consumers to be honest, engineers to be honest in the current environment is like expecting blood from a stone. The reality is they should not have an option, its either the meter or they get nothing. The distribution companies must be privatized, because that will then give them the motivation to sort their house out. In nationalized industries no one cares if resources are stolen, because its never anyone's responsibility.

Shah Jun 17, 2013 04:12pm

Just run the rental power plant we can pay more but we need elecity

Syed-S Jun 19, 2013 05:19am

Good question, answer. But who will bell the cat? Even the writer would not put his hand up.

Tanvir Jun 17, 2013 03:48pm
Nice proposals to control theft of gas and electricity, but within wide spread culture of corruption from low level employees of SNGTC, SSGTC, WAPDA, KESCS, Parliament members, Senators, Govt. elites who would take serious steps towards this. This is a point to ponder. Solve this puzzle firts.
hyderphd74 Jun 17, 2013 04:20pm
This is all very good. But tell me where will you get the 'Honest' people from? Certainly you are not counting upon people from Pakistan? If you are, then I can assure you that you will not be able to find enough honest people to do the job. Good luck.