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Pakistan CTG, CTL initiatives likely to harm economy and climate

May 07, 2021

The International News:

Experts speaking at a webinar warned against the harmful economic and environmental impacts of the government’s move to produce energy by changing coal to gas (CTG) and coal to liquid (CTL). They said it would also increase Pakistan’s reliance on fossil-fuels.

The webinar was organised by the Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy (ACJCE) on Thursday. The experts advised the government to look at the experience of other countries which have used CTG and CTL technologies and include the lessons learnt from them in its policies.

The speakers at the webinar shared the findings of their studies on economic and environmental viability of Pakistan’s planning to use domestic coal for the production of gas, diesel and fertilizers. The planning was announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the Climate Ambition Summit in Dec 2020.

Simon Nicholas, an energy finance analyst with Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), said it was the unaffordable nature of surplus coal-fired power that led the government of Pakistan to seek debt relief from China. The CTG and CTL proposals came as the coal-fired power was already contributing to ballooning capacity payments, accelerating the build-up of circular debt, he said.

Referring to various similar experiences in the United States, South Africa and Indonesia, he argued that the projects to convert coal into gas and liquid have been heavily reliant on government subsidies everywhere in the world. 

[Kaleem Naqvi]

More: Coal Gasification, Liquefaction Projects Harmful For Environment: Experts

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