RAWALPINDI: Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairperson Engineer Dr Shahid Munir on Saturday said Pakistan’s 187 billion tonnes coal reserves valuing $30 trillion can produce 100,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity for more than 500 years.

He was speaking at the concluding session of a three-day vice chancellors’ conference on “Paradigm shift in higher education -Hackathon planning for future” in Murree, which was organised by Kohsar University Murree and University of Education Lahore in collaboration with the Punjab Higher Education Commission.

He said Pakistan must develop its indigenous energy resources to meet the ever increasing power needs rather than banking on costly imported oil and gas.He said Pakistan can overcome its energy crisis by fully harnessing the under-utilised natural and renewable resources.

Dr Munir in his presentation on “Meeting energy crisis challenges in 21st century” said Pakistan’s total fuel import bill was $ 21.43bn which devoured 66pc of its total foreign exchange.

“If we fully exploit our natural resources to maximum extent, energy crisis can be overcome besides saving major chunk of foreign exchange.” He said a big challenge in the 21st century was to provide cheaper energy to everyone in environment-friendly manners.

He said 61pc of Pakistan’s oil and gas share was consumed in power generation. He said we have to redesign our energy mix. Pakistan’s total balance recoverable oil reserves are 233 million barrels and only 44 million barrels is produced annually.Electricity demand in Pakistan will swell to 49,078 MW in 2030.

He said natural gas production was likely to fall less than 1pc bcfd (billion cubic feet per day) by 2025 due to depletion while its demand will shoot to 8pc in coming days.

He said depletion of indigenous natural resources was one of the major causes of industrial and domestic loadshedding badly hitting exports targets. He stressed the urgent needs of fully exploiting our coal, gas, solar, shale oil and gas and wind energy potentials to meet the growing demand of inexpensive power.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2022

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