Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited (EPQL) CEO Shahab Qader said on Wednesday that his company is looking to use gas from low British thermal unit (BTU) gas fields in the vicinity of Qadirpur to generate cheap and affordable electricity.
The company aims to help reduce Pakistan’s import bill by $2 billion by using the cheap energy. In comments to Business Recorder, Qader said that the company has given a proposal to the government to allocate low BTU gas from multiple gas fields including Badar, Kandara, Sara West and Kandhkot to EPQL to minimise the energy shortfall.
“We can potentially produce 23 billion units by 2035, which can provide foreign exchange savings of up to $2 billion by cutting coal and fuel imports,” he said. “We feel that small pockets like Badar, Kandra and Sara West are available. We do not need big fields and marginal discoveries as low BTU ones are suitable for us.”
Qader stressed that low BTU fields can have a massive impact on the narrative of cheap electricity supply to the national grid. Based on initial estimates, gas from Badar field can allow EPQL to generate around 20MW with the potential to save $30 million in forex every year, the CEO said.
Pakistan’s energy crisis has worsened as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and global supply chain crises make it difficult for the South Asian nation to secure shipments of fuel including LNG.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Government Holdings Private Limited (GHPL), failed to receive a single bid from international suppliers for the purchase of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in a tender that expired on October 3.
The strategy of depending on imported fuels has worsened energy insecurity in Pakistan, including price instability, supply disruptions and high costs.
A difficult winter is awaiting consumers in Pakistan as the crisis may continue to worsen due to unavailability of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). Qader said that the country’s hydel power largely depends on certain weather conditions.
“Thar Coal is still under development but low BTU fields around the Ghotki region are still unexplored and they have ample gas for generation of electricity,” he said.
Sindh is known as the country’s energy capital where Thar has coal, Jhimpir has wind, and Ghotki and surrounding areas have low BTU gas reserves.
The EPQL CEO added that by granting the company access to low BTU gas fields, the government can increase its customer base as well.
“We will need 55 mmscfd in the next 13 years but in initial years, we will need 20 to 30 mmscfd,” said Qader.
The supply of Kandhkot gas to the Qadirpur plant can result in a potential benefit of over Rs300 billion to the consumers over the next 13 years.
The supply of the gas is proposed on ‘as-and-when available’ basis to the Qadirpur plant. With the allocation of approximately 30-50 mmscfd of gas from Kandhkot gas field, the company can provide around 110 MW of power to the national grid.