Russia promised Pakistan that it would practically help with its energy-producing industry. It is noteworthy that Russia has clarified that it intends to quickly increase Pakistan’s hydroelectric capacity by participating in the nation’s three most significant hydropower projects, Diamer, Bhasha, and Dasu. Russia has shown interest in the 2160-Megawatt Dasu stage-II hydropower project. Pakistan’s hydropower profile has significant water resources since it spans the Indus Basin. Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) estimates that the nation has 60,000 MW of hydropower potential, of which only 7,320 MW have been built. Pakistan is dedicated to advancing the peaceful use of nuclear energy to address its mounting energy concerns. Pakistan’s economy is expanding, and as a result, its need for energy is rising. But Pakistan’s present power generation capacity needs to catch up with this demand. More than 5000 MW of reported power is lost at peak demand times. As a result, load shedding has become a destiny that the people of Pakistan must endure.
Pakistan is dedicated to advancing the peaceful use of nuclear energy to address its mounting energy concerns. Pakistan’s economy is expanding, and as a result, its need for energy is rising.
An inexpensive, healthy, and regenerative source of energy is hydropower. Modern hydropower facilities are 85% efficient compared to typical fossil fuel-based power plants’ meager 50% efficiency. Moreover, hydropower may be used for power production on both a large and small scale, depending on the head and water flow rate. As a result, hydropower is the most important RER globally. Without a doubt, Pakistan is experiencing an energy crisis, mostly due to the inadequate addition of electricity to the power grid. Some elements causing the energy crisis include rapid urbanization, population increase, and rapid industrialization.
Nevertheless, Pakistan’s nuclear program’s fundamental goal continues to be the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Pakistan now runs six nuclear power reactors at two locations, producing 10% of the nation’s total energy and roughly 25% of its low-carbon electricity. The IAEA’s Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi traveled to one of these locations, the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (CNPGS), which is located 250 kilometers south of Islamabad. Mr. Grossi gave a glowing speech at the site’s new spent fuel dry storage facility dedication, praising Pakistan’s nuclear facilities for their safety and security and highlighting the country’s expanding hydropower potential.
One of the key goals of Pakistan’s nuclear program continues to be the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In order to better understand the projects that are being considered for construction under the Government-to-Government (GtG) approach, including the Thakot 1, 2, and 3 hydropower projects, the Kari-Mashkur hydropower project, the Shogo-Sin hydropower project, and the 132 MW overhead transmission line from Drosh (Chitral) to Chakdara.
Russia has also informed Pakistan of LLC’s interest in building facilities for a distributed energy generation system and a gas transmission network, rebuilding outdated power generation machinery using units based on gas turbine drives made by LLC enterprises, and supporting its performance throughout its life cycle.
The most current details and plans for the renovation and development of new local and Thar coal-based units at Jamshoro and Lakhra, as well as the planned project financing scheme with Russia, have reportedly been communicated by Pakistan with Russia. Russia has also informed Pakistan of LLC’s interest in building facilities for a distributed energy generation system and a gas transmission network, rebuilding outdated power generation machinery using units based on gas turbine drives made by LLC enterprises, and supporting its performance throughout its life cycle. Yet, some estimates predict that the share of hydropower in overall energy production will rise to more than 40% by 2030, signaling that it is ready for a revival and will play a big part in alleviating this power gap.
Pakistan has high hopes that stage II of the Dasu project will start by 2026 in response to Russia’s increased interest in providing help in the building of the projects.
Moreover, the Private Power & Infrastructure Board is in charge of several projects that are being planned and built in the private sector, including the Karot (720 MW), Suki (870 MW), and Kohala projects (1,124 MW). These initiatives are a component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a set of infrastructure initiatives backed by the Chinese government to bolster Pakistan’s economy and improve trade relations between the two nations. Pakistan has high hopes that stage II of the Dasu project will start by 2026 in response to Russia’s increased interest in providing help in the building of the projects. Moreover, Pakistan has requested aid in creating supervisory control, data collection systems, and distribution system automation (SCADA).
The $2.5 billion pipeline that was supposed to be built by Pakistan and Russia under two agreements that were signed in 2015 and 2021 could not be begun because of international sanctions against Moscow. Pakistan has been struggling with rising energy needs, mostly for gas and oil, as well as an expanding current account imbalance brought on by oil payments. The country’s gross domestic product has been impacted, manufacturing has been halted, and residents’ social lives have suffered as a result of the energy crisis. Due to factory closures caused by the energy constraint, unemployment has also increased. The energy crisis has now impacted Pakistan’s national security.
Additionally, at the most recent meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC), both Russia and Pakistan expressed an interest in continuing to communicate to explore possibilities and prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation in the oil and gas sectors of Pakistan and other nations, including the implementation of projects for the introduction and use of cutting-edge Russian technologies to improve oil and gas recovery in Pakistani fields and the implementation of infrastructure. Both parties have committed to collaborate on a comprehensive strategy for energy cooperation, which will serve as the basis for future work and be completed in 2023.
Pakistan’s electricity industry is dominated by fossil fuel-based resources, such as oil and natural gas, yet the nation has few domestic fossil fuel reserves.
Russia has also promised to provide the Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project with electromechanical equipment (4500 MW; comprising 12 units of 375 MW capacity each). Given that Pakistan now has a gas shortage of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day, which will quadruple by 2025, assistance from Russia appears likely. In order to fulfill demand, authorities predicted that domestic gas supply would decline from 3.51 bcfd in 2019 to 1.67 bcfd in 2028. To counteract demand increases and lower oil imports, the nation started importing LNG in 2015. Significantly, energy-related obstacles in the past hampered Pakistan’s growth and development. Pakistan’s electricity industry is dominated by fossil fuel-based resources, such as oil and natural gas, yet the nation has few domestic fossil fuel reserves. This is the foundation of the energy cooperation between Pakistan and Russia, which may be a significant energy development alongside the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Asma Khan Durrani is an Islamabad-based expert in Strategic Affairs. She is a student of Defence and Strategic Studies. She has done M.Phil. from SPIR Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad. She has also been published internationally. She tweets @AsmaKhan_47 Mailed @ firstname.lastname@example.org