Forum recommends one-window national energy authority



The 6Th Pakistan Energy Forum 2014 concluded on Thursday with recommendation for a one-window national energy authority and experts demanding good governance and renewed activity in exploration and production, power and alternate sources to address energy issues.
In the keynote session, Mumtaz Hasan Khan, chairman Hascol Group, and a member of the Integrated Energy Plan 2009-2022 shared key decisions of the plan, including reliance on indigenous resources as a future option; and also recommended a national energy authority to take up all issues of energy production. He added that the time was ripe to get the revised plan underway in right earnest.
Earlier, Jam Kamal Khan, state minister for petroleum and natural resources, while inaugurating the moot said the government was determined to fast-track projects to meet power-related challenges. He emphasised on better planning, change and efficiency as a stimulus and invited foreign direct investment in the energy sector, assuring the government’s support in facilitating ventures.
In his welcome address, Menin Rodrigues, chairman of the 6TH Pakistan Energy Forum 2014, urged the participants to recommend practical measures, advised key stakeholders to collectively make efforts to address the issue and hoped that a strong political and good governance will assure a better tomorrow for the people of Pakistan.
The first session focusing on exploration and production activities in the oil and gas sector was chaired by Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed, in which Dr Saeed Jadoon, OGDCL and Anwer Moin, CEO, Ocean Petroleum Limited reiterated the need for a committed effort by the government and the need for the concentrated exploration programme.
The government has reignited E&P activity by issuing licences for 50 new exploration blocks, including off-shore drilling, which would be a revolution to come, they added. The panel opined that all short-term measures be expedited to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
The session on alternate sources of energy chaired by physicist Dr AH Nayyar came up with a meaningful dialogue on renewal energy options for Pakistan and how this source of energy made up for the energy needs of several developed countries of the world. The panellists included, Dr Basharat Hasan, the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) director general and Imran Shah, project manager of FFC Energy Limited. The panel concluded that the government should encourage indigenous production, thereby creating industries within the society.
The power sector session was chaired by Abdullah Yusuf, chairman of the Independent Power Producers Advisory Council and included discussions on how to meet challenges to tackle crippling power shortages in the country. The panel which included Athar Ghulam, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC); Muhammad Saquib, CFO Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company; NA Zuberi, executive director Private Power and infrastructure Board (PPIB); and Aftab Mehmood Butt, CEO Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO), concluded that any future planning on energy must be practical and pragmatic, and core issues must be addressed.
The last session on investment in the energy sector included government officials and opinion makers from across the country. The panellists, including Murad Ali Shah, advisor to the Sindh chief minister; Raziuddin, CEO Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company; Anwarul Haq, director Energy Investment, the Punjab Board of Investment (PBIT); and Shaukat Aziz Popalzai, president Balochistan Economic Forum; concluded that all four provinces have huge projects in the pipeline and investment in this sector was forthcoming.
It was also opined that investors were shy not for security reasons but issues of sovereignty of contracts. Ease of doing business in Pakistan was a critical point which should be addressed, they added.