Saturday July 13, 2024

Industrial leaders call for CTBCM regime for direct power purchases

By Our Correspondent
July 10, 2024
A large number of electric poles are seen in the picture. — Reuters/file
A large number of electric poles are seen in the picture. — Reuters/file

KARACHI: Industrial chambers and associations across Pakistan have united in urging the immediate adoption of the competitive trading bilateral contract market (CTBCM) regime. This initiative would enable bulk power consumers to procure electricity directly from generators, bypassing governmental intermediaries.

The call was made during a conference jointly organized by Renewables First (RF) and Pakistan Environment Trust (PET) on Tuesday, where industry leaders voiced concerns over excess generation capacity and expensive take-or-pay contracts.

They criticized the government’s management of the electric grid and emphasized the urgency of adopting the CTBCM regime to avert a looming crisis in Pakistan’s power sector.Tauseef Farooqui, former chairperson of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), emphasized that it is not the government's role to engage in commercial activities. He highlighted the monopolistic nature of the current system, advocating for the CTBCM regime as a means to introduce competitive pricing and efficiency in electricity procurement.

“By moving towards the CTBCM regime, businesses and ordinary consumers will be able to procure electricity directly from the suppliers at competitive rates,” Tauseef added.Vice President of FPCCI and Chairperson of APTMA Asif Inam underscored the critical importance of competitive energy prices for export-oriented industries like textiles, asserting that affordable power is indispensable for global competitiveness.

Faiza Jamil from the Pakistan Environment Trust highlighted the environmental benefits of the CTBCM regime, emphasizing its potential to facilitate the procurement of clean energy directly from developers through bilateral contracts, thereby reducing their Scope 2 emissions and advancing towards net-zero goals.

The conference also marked the launch of the CTBCM Booklet Series by Renewables First, aimed at educating stakeholders on the market model and its implementation. Hammad Ali, researcher at RF, presented an overview of the booklet series, which will be crucial for capacity building within the electricity sector.

Omer Haroon Malik, Head of Market Operations & Development at the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G), endorsed the CTBCM Booklet Series, announcing its availability on the market operator’s digital library.

The event concluded with the presentation of a charter of demands endorsed by major industrial associations and chambers. The charter calls for the government to establish a competitive use of system charge and announce the date for the first bilateral transaction, signalling the opening of the electricity market for business participants.

The conference featured discussions from prominent chambers and associations, including CEO of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Zubair Motiwala; Vice President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tanveer Ahmed Barry, President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry Johar Ali Qandhari; and Vice President of the FPCCI and Chairperson of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Asif Inaam.