Utilities of Pakistan
Pakistan’s electricity generation relies on natural gas and oil stores, hydroelectricity and some nuclear power. Despite the country’s resources, it relies on imports to meet 25 per cent of its electricity demand.
Electricity from hydroelectric sources amounts to approximately 25 per cent of the country’s total generation. There are five dams across the country generating hydroelectricity, with plans currently underway to develop a 665 MW hydropower plant in the Lower Pallas Valley in the district of Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project is due to be implemented under a public–private partnership initiative.
The Pakistani oil and gas industry is split between private and state-owned corporations. The main national corporation is the public Oil and Gas Development Company, while BP (formerly British Petroleum) is the principal international oil company with operations in the country.
There are three government-run power suppliers in Pakistan – the Water and Power Development Authority, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. Independent power producers include Hub Power, Rousch Power and Uch Power.
The National Energy Power Regulatory Authority is the official regulator of the industry and sets tariffs for the state-run power suppliers. There are currently plans to move Pakistan’s energy structure from mainly state owned to a competitive system.
Water supply and treatment in Pakistan is managed by state-run water and sanitation agencies. Water provision is the responsibility of regional councils called tehsils, although this can be delegated to municipal councils in big urban centres such as Karachi or Rawalpindi.
Pakistan is moving towards a market-based system for water treatment and sewage, while groundwater for residential use remains free. Industrial and agricultural water provision is subsidised.
The Pakistani water system currently faces many potential difficulties, including the rapidly decreasing water table. To this effect, the government recently implemented the National Environmental Strategy, which aims to realise the sustainable management of Pakistan’s water resources by 2025.
The Telecom Deregulation Policy and Cellular Mobile Policy liberalised the telecoms sector, initiating a wave of new companies and investments. An important part of this legislation was to privatise Pakistan’s state telecoms monopoly, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PCTL). PCTL still exists as Pakistan’s largest private landline operator, however new mobile phone operators have emerged in as a result of the regulation, the largest being the private company Mobilink. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is responsible for regulating the sector.