Severe power crisis in Pakistan due to shortage of coal and funds
Power Shortage in Pakistan: Liquefied natural gas and coal prices hit record highs in global markets due to supply disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war while Pakistan has neither funds nor coal to operate power plants.
NewDelhi: Pakistan is facing a severe power cut in the peak summer season under the new government of Shehbaz Sharif. Like Sri Lanka, the power crisis in Pakistan is also deepening. Electricity given to homes and factories in Pakistan is being cut. The reason for this is that like Sri Lanka, Pakistan is also struggling with the shortage of foreign currency. This shortage can be gauged from the fact that Pakistan is not in a position to buy coal or natural gas from other countries. Due to this the operation of the power plant is getting affected.
The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war
Liquefied natural gas and coal prices hit record highs last month due to supply disruptions caused by a war between Russia and Ukraine. According to a report by news agency Bloomberg, due to this increase in prices, the South Asian country is facing difficulties in procuring fuel from the spot market.
Plants with a power capacity of 3,500 MW closed
According to a Twitter post by Pakistan's newly-appointed Finance Minister Mifatah Ismail, 3,500 MW of power plants were shut due to fuel shortage in the country till April 13. He said that due to technical glitches, the plants of the same capacity are offline. According to Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib Limited in Karachi, 7,000 MW is around 25 percent of the country's total power generation capacity.
Economic challenge increased due to the power crisis
The challenges of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Sharif have increased due to the shortage of electricity. The reason for this is that the country is already surrounded by economic challenges. Sharif is yet to be appointed as the country's new energy minister. Pakistan is mainly dependent on imports for its energy needs and the effect of rising fuel prices has been seen in this country.
The majority of power plants are coal-based and operated by the Chinese firms under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Maximum new plants are stalled and uncompleted due to high-interest costs.