Pakistan is limiting electricity to homes and business as it struggles to obtain gasoline on the spot market. According to sources, the cash-strapped country can no longer afford to import coal or natural gas to fuel its power plants because prices for liquefied natural gas and coal skyrocketed last month amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, exacerbating supply shortages. According to Bloomberg, Pakistan is unable to spend more on further cargoes since its energy expenditures more than doubled from a year ago in the nine months ending in February.
Pakistan energy crisis
According to a Twitter post by Miftah Ismail, the country’s current finance minister, who was appointed by new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after Imran Khan was ousted from the top job, roughly 3,500 megawatts of electricity capacity has been shut down as of April 13 due to fuel shortages. According to him, a similar amount is unavailable owing to technological issues. According to Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib Ltd. in Karachi, the more than 7,000 megawatts constitute about a fifth of the overall generation capacity.
Shortage of electricity
Pakistan is heavily reliant on imported energy. The electricity shortage is exacerbating Sharif’s already difficult economic situation, as he has yet to select an energy minister.
Long-term LNG suppliers to Pakistan have canceled several shipments slated for delivery in recent months, severely limiting supply. On Sunday, the country issued a tender to acquire six LNG cargoes on the spot market, but if fully awarded, the tender may cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The scenario in Pakistan will not change in the near future since global dynamics remain unchanged,” said Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pakistan Kuwait Investment Co. “As a result of the energy shortages, there have been forced outages.”
During Ramzan, Pakistanis forced to pray in the dark
People in Karachi have been forced to perform Ramzan prayers in complete darkness due to load shedding. According to ANI, damaged neighborhoods in Karachi included Korangi, Landhi, Railway Colony, Nusrat Bhutto Colony, Khawaja Ajmair Nagri, Paposh Nagar, Liaquat Market, Malir, Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block-2, Korangi Sector 30, 31, and others.
Information Source: Hindustan Times, Bloomberg