Islamabad - The government is considering to retire 8,021MW thermal based power plants within next one decade and is planning to add around 36,000MW into the system during the same period.

According to Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan 2022-31 (IGCEF 2022-31), Net Present Value (NPV) investment of $52.93 billion in the base case of the power generation operations will be required both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX of existing and future power projects till 2031. 

As per the NTDC’s plan submitted to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), out of those power plants that are due to retire in next 10 years (2022-31), include 19 plants of NTDC with the capacity of 7,339MW, four thermal power plants with the capacity of 682MW - which are providing electricity to K-Electric (KE).

It was further maintained that the IGCEP is prepared for long-term electricity demand forecast, updated generation commitment schedule and other parameters, generation expansion planning decisions for investment pertaining to development of different types of power projects over the long-term horizon. In addition to the base case, various scenarios are developed for sensitivity analysis, which include:  i-Low Demand Scenario, ii-High Demand Scenario, iii-Diamer Bhasha HPP in 2029, iv-Chashma Nuclear (C-5) for Energy Security, v-Local coal inclusion in 2027 and 2030, vi-Unconstrained VRE Scenario.

The report showcased the detailed results of all the scenarios and sensitivity studies conducted. The results show a shift in the energy mix (GWh) from imported fuel to indigenous ones, i.e. local coal and dominating share of renewables and hydropower. The base case shows a major contribution from renewables i.e. 41 percent of hydropower and 20 percent of variable renewable energy in the overall energy mix by the year 2031. There is a minimal reliance on the imported fuels with RFO having no contribution at all in the energy mix. Imported coal and RLNG are contributing just eight percent (due to contractual binding) and two percent in the total energy requirements. The share of indigenous fuels stands 29 percent i.e. 13 percent of local coal, 5 percent of local gas and 11 percent of nuclear in the overall energy mix.

The IGCEP 2022-31 also facilitates structural changes in the power sector planning process with enhanced role of distributed generation and reduction in the large projects distant from the load centres. Further, indigenisation of RE technologies through local manufacturing is also suggested to lower the basket price, for provision of relief to the end consumer as well as saving precious foreign exchange while maximising the nature’s endowment bestowed upon Pakistan.

As of June 2022, the total installed generation capacity of NTDC system reached 37,949MW. Out of which 34 percent is RE share which comprises of hydro, solar PV, wind and bagasse based technologies, and 66 percent share is from thermal projects comprising of local gas, local coal, imported coal, RFO, RLNG and nuclear based technologies. The energy produced by NTDC system power generation fleet during the fiscal year 2021-22 was 143,017GWh which was contributed approximately 25 percent by hydroelectric projects and 58 percent by thermal projects on local gas, local coal, imported coal, RFO and RLNG based technologies, 13 percent by nuclear projects, and four percent by renewable energy power projects which covers solar PV, wind and bagasse-based technologies. With the base scenario, the installed capacity of the country will be around 69,000MW, while the demand will be around 41,000MW. Furthermore, there has been an increasing trend in the electricity generation (GWh) statistics of the country from 2013-14 to 2018-19; however, a slight decrease is observed in the year 2019-20 due to lesser demand owing to struggling economy coupled with the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. However, since 2020-21, the trend is again increasing.