Japanese investors offered to lead Pakistan’s clean energy drive

Irfan Siddiqui
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

TOKYO: Inviting Japanese investors to benefit from Pakistan’s drive to shift from fossil fuels to clean/green energy, Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir said the South Asian country was striving to cut down its dependence on the expensive hydrocarbons for the bulk of its energy.

Khan launched this invite during his meetings with the Japanese authorities and businessmen on the sidelines of the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting in Japan, held on September 26, to discuss how to boost the output of low-emission hydrogen fuel. More than 20 countries participated in this meeting.

“The prime objective of this meeting was on the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies and many countries expressed their concerns in view of their circumstances,” the energy minister told The News International in an interview.

Khan said, citing the devastating flood-losses suffered by Pakistan, he informed the meeting that Pakistan, which had the least carbon footprint, was bearing the worst brunt of global climate change.

“We have witnessed the recent episode of floods hit those areas of the country that usually receive less rains.”

He also apprised the participant countries that recent floods were not caused by the swelling rivers but by extreme rains.

“It is an indication that climate is changing so we have to change our policies according to this shift,” Khan told the audience.

He also informed the energy meeting that the government of Pakistan had devised new policies under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to deal with such challenges effectively.

“Under the new policy all our new power-plants will be completely based on local resources and we will not import fuel from the world,” Khan said addressing the meeting.

He said that Pakistan had decided to abandon fossil fuels and embrace renewable energies sources like solar, wind energy, hydel, and also nuclear, which was already functional and was introduced in the era of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Karachi.

“While Thar coal is a new addition to the line.”

He said as part of its transition efforts the sitting government had started a 10,000 MW solar power project to generate cheap electricity in Pakistan.

“Under this project, a 600-megawatt solar power project will be launched in the first phase, in which bids have been offered to companies around the world.”

The energy minister said he had also told his Japanese counterpart that Japanese companies could bid on this 600 MW project in Pakistan. “We will try to complete the 10,000 MW solar energy project in the next two to three years,” Khan said.