The Pakistani government is anticipating the energy crisis to worsen in the coming two years due to a 50% increase in the demand and a rather slow improvement in the supply, the leading Pakistani newspaper DAWN reported Monday.
The power shortage, estimated to be 1000 to 2000 MW during the current year, is likely to hit 3000 MW next year and to increase to about 5300 MW by 2010, said the report.
The overall energy requirement of Pakistan is expected to be about 80 million tons of oil equivalents (MTOE) in 2010, up by about 50% from the 54 MTOE of the current year, it said.
A government official told DAWN that the energy shortage was severe and widespread in almost all areas, and natural gas, power, and oil shortages were all posing risks to the economic growth in medium to long term period.
Another official, quoted by the report, said that the development of water resources would resolve the problem in the long run but in the short term, there was a limit to constructing costly thermal power projects given their high economic costs.
A major shortfall is expected in natural gas supplies, as an official energy demand forecast indicates that the demand for natural gas, which makes up about 50% of Pakistan's energy consumption, would increase by 44% to 39 MTOE from 27 MTOE currently, DAWN reported.
The government had planned five major initiatives, including three gas import pipelines, the Gwadar port as energy hub and the LNG import to meet these energy requirements.
But four of these measures, namely the three import pipeline projects, are uncertain at present, while concentration on energy facilities in Gwadar would chiefly depend on security situation, besides oil and gas import pipelines, said the report.