OICCI, Shell Host Symposium on Sustainable Energy Solutions

The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and Shell Pakistan Limited jointly hosted the ‘Pakistan Energy Symposium’ at a local hotel.

The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and Shell Pakistan Limited jointly hosted the ‘Pakistan Energy Symposium’ at a local hotel. Organized by the Nutshell Group, the event brought together public stakeholders, policymakers, thought leaders and industry specialists to discuss and strategize on Pakistan’s sustainable energy future.

The symposium centered on integrating renewable energy sources into Pakistan’s energy mix. Senator Dr. Musadik Malik, the federal minister for Petroleum and Water Resources, highlighted the country’s potential for generating green electricity.

“Pakistan has sunlight, wind, water, and nuclear energy. We can produce green electricity on a large scale,” Dr. Malik stated. He noted the significant drop in the costs of solar and wind energy from 22 cents and 23 cents respectively in 2018 to just three to five cents now. Dr. Malik emphasized the potential of hybrid systems and the advancements in battery technology that could further enhance Pakistan’s renewable energy capabilities.

Rehan Shaikh, President and CEO of Standard Chartered Pakistan and President of OICCI, delivered the welcome address. He emphasized Pakistan’s critical position in its journey toward energy sustainability. Shaikh pointed out that energy security and self-sufficiency are fundamental to any nation’s progress and prosperity.

He acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan’s power sector, including circular debt, demand and supply gaps, and rising costs. However, he also highlighted the vast potential for change, citing Pakistan’s 300-plus sunny days annually, wind corridors in Sindh and Balochistan, and abundant hydropower resources in the North.

Waqar Siddiqui, CEO and Managing Director of Shell Pakistan Limited, opened the symposium with a call for urgent action to achieve sustainability. “Pakistan is at a critical economic juncture, and resolving the energy puzzle is of utmost importance to steer the country on a sustainable trajectory,” Siddiqui said. He highlighted the sizable potential for growth and investment in Pakistan’s energy sector and proposed partnerships and solutions to shape the country’s energy future.

Rabia Shoaib Ahmad, Director and CEO of Nutshell Group, emphasized the role of innovation and partnerships in creating a resilient and energy-efficient Pakistan. She remarked on the importance of highlighting investor issues, creating an enabling environment, and promoting a healthy investment climate for foreign investors. Ahmad noted that the Nutshell Group has been working with the OICCI for over a decade to foster such an environment.

Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi, CEO of K-Electric, discussed the benefits of privatization, noting K-Electric’s zero contribution to the power sector’s circular debt. Alvi pointed out that despite Pakistan’s low energy purchase prices, the country struggles with high capacity charges and circular debt issues. He stressed the need for systemic reforms in the energy sector.

Dr. Nazir Abbas Zaidi, Secretary General of the Oil Companies Advisory Council, proposed solutions to address structural issues in the power sector. He recommended implementing rules to curb the inflow of smuggled products, closing approximately 2,500 illegal retail outlets, rolling out new explosives rules, and aligning standards between the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and the Department of Explosives.

Mazhar Hasnani, CEO of Engro Vopak and Engro Elengy Terminals Limited, shared insights on how liquefied natural gas (LNG) can fuel Pakistan’s economic progress. He outlined plans to expand LNG infrastructure, deregulate the market, devise solutions to curb gas circular debt, establish new LNG terminals, create an LNG task force for streamlined regulatory approvals, develop strategic onshore LNG terminals for long-term supply security, and address pipeline capacity issues by leveraging declining gas production and new pipeline developments.

The Pakistan Energy Symposium concluded with a consensus on the urgent need for strategic action and collaboration among all stakeholders to unlock the potential of Pakistan’s energy sector. The event highlighted the country’s ample renewable resources and the critical role of policy reforms and private sector investment in achieving a sustainable and self-sufficient energy future.