The power sector needs a new road map

The power sector needs a new road map

The chief executive officer of K-Electric (KE) has stressed that privatization is the way forward to tackle the circular debt and the formulation of a clear long-term roadmap can accelerate the progress of the power sector.

He stated this while addressing a panel discussion on the way forward for Pakistan’s power sector at the 7th Leaders’ Summit in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The panel discussion was led by Federal Energy Minister Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, who said privatization was the government’s main agenda along with a holistic plan to ensure the stability and efficiency of the energy sector for the benefit of consumers.

KE CEO Moonis Abdullah Alvi acknowledged that Pakistan has low per capita energy consumption, but it presents an opportunity to formulate policies and roadmaps that can stimulate the economy and drive demand.

Alvi revealed that KE received interest from various entities including international names for a 640 megawatt renewable energy project, which is a positive sign and reflects the company’s vision to integrate renewable energy into the energy mix.

Former interim energy minister Muhammad Ali cited that small interventions can have a big impact, sharing examples of the use of high-efficiency equipment. Replacement of all fans, he asserts, could result in savings of up to $1.5 billion a year.

The panelists were keen to highlight KE as an example of successful privatization to learn more about the challenges and opportunities.

They agree that the start of the privatization process can have a snowball effect and incentivize more investors to enter the arena, as observed in the telecommunications and banking sectors in the past.

The federal energy minister spoke about the focus directed towards grounding in the fuel mix to reduce the cost of power generation and also mentioned that hydel will be the target for the next six to eight years.

He said the government is working not only for privatization but also to create a business environment for the energy sector to thrive.

The minister shared that the Central Power Purchase Agency-Guarantee (CPPA-G) will soon hold consultations with business leaders for a comprehensive and accurate financial model. “The government wants to open up the market for the energy sector through deregulation,” he said.

He is of the view that cross subsidies should be stopped as the government is considering a uniform tariff for the industrial sector.

The minister stressed that the government has stopped CPPA-G from buying more electricity, adding “we want to give the business of buying and selling electricity to the private sector”.

He held the National Transmission and Transmission Company (NTDC) responsible for all the problems in the power transmission system. The minister declared that professionals will be appointed in the board of directors of power distribution companies to bring efficiency to the system.

Global Deputy President of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Ayla Majid discussed the importance of an integrated strategy under applicable policies and the possibility of enabling incentives for the use of energy efficient resources.

“Investment in transmission and distribution can only be injected by the private sector,” said Majid.

“Jazz is strengthening Pakistan’s digital ecosystem in key areas including financial technology, cloud services and data analytics with total investment reaching $10.6 billion.

“As a pioneer in focused connectivity and digital services, driving virtual digitization across all sectors of the economy and empowering people with a digital lifestyle, Jazz, a Veon Group company, remains at the forefront of accelerating Pakistan’s digital economy.”

These thoughts were expressed by Veon Group Digital Performance and Operations Officer Lasha Tabidze at the Leaders Summit in Islamabad.

He highlighted the country’s vibrant youth demographic and growing tech talent as factors that make a compelling business case for investment in digital solutions that improve life in the country.

Tabidze highlighted Pakistan’s digital growth potential, citing its 64% youth population under the age of 30 and its position as one of the biggest players in the global freelancing industry.

With teledensity reaching about 80% and mobile broadband penetration of 55%, Pakistan stands as fertile ground for purpose-driven organizations like Jazz to bridge the digital divide with solutions that impact and enrich lives, he said.

Tabidze informed the audience of Veon’s plan to bring artificial intelligence generative to its customers in local languages across its markets, which aligns with its DO1440 strategy, offering customers a digital experience every minute of the day.

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