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Monday July 04, 2022

Tidal power from creeks near Karachi can help meet 25pc energy requirement of city

Creeks in the Indus Delta have the potential to generate around 697 to 727MW of power

June 22, 2022

Karachi: At least 25 per cent of Karachi’s electricity needs can be met by tapping the tidal energy potential along the Indus Delta, especially in the creeks around Port Bin Qasim.

This was said by experts from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), University of Karachi (KU) and COMSATS University Islamabad on Tuesday at a seminar titled ‘Assessment of Tidal Energy Potential along Indus Delta’ organised by the NIO.

The event was told that creeks in the Indus Delta had the potential to generate around 697 to 727MW of power. Speakers said that around 25 per cent of the total energy requirement of Karachi could be met by producing clean power through tidal energy by just one-time investment.

These experts, however, did not elaborate the expected cost of per megawatt electricity through tidal energy, arguing that they were only assigned the task to explore whether or not clean tidal energy could be produced through tidal waves in the Indus Delta. The event was attended by experts from the Pakistan Navy, Coast Guards, Pakistan Meteorological Department, public and private varsities, NGOs, environmentalists from different organisations and students.

Presenting the findings of his study, Dr Ibrahim Zia from the NIO said many countries of the world were producing electricity with the help of tidal waves in their creeks such as France, South Korea and China, whereas, India had recently completed a study on it.

He added that there was a potential for generating around 727MWs of electricity at least from four creeks in the Indus Delta near Karachi. “Now advanced technology is available and highly efficient turbines are capable for converting 65 per cent of the tidal energy into electricity. Hundreds of turbines can be installed in these creeks to generate power,” Dr Zia, who is the project director of a tidal energy project, said. To a query, he said tapping the tidal energy potential would require one-time investment while it had little maintenance cost. He added that small hybrid units could also be installed in the creeks to meet the energy needs of coastal communities.

Dr Imran Shahzad from the COMSATS University Islamabad was of the opinion that 697.2 MWs of electricity could be generated in the Indus Delta by using advanced technology and added that this could require only one-time investment, which would produce energy for many years to come.

Some other experts at the seminar called for tapping oceans’ thermal energy for generating electricity, saying that data showed the Arabian Sea was getting warmer, which could be used to meet the energy requirements of the country. Officials from the Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guards offered their complete support for data collection, surveys and other logistic requirements needed by research institutions and the government for tapping the sea energy in meeting country’s power requirements.

NIO Director General Samina Kidwai introduced the project and said they had gathered all the stakeholders to discuss the pros and cons of the project, which could provide a proper guideline to policymakers to decide whether or not they wanted to utilise the tidal energy for power generation.

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