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15
Dec
2010

Energy, power and fuel are not only a requirement to run an economy but they are turning out to be the biggest problems across the world. In some cases their availability is a big question and in some cases the cost of it is an issue to address for macroeconomic to corporate managers.

Alternative energy is the hot issue in today’s world of economy. Pakistan being a resourcefully rich country is equipped with many alternative energy options that are there even to the extent of renewable energy.

If we see Pakistan in particular so there are various alternatives available to oil & hydro sources of energy. Pakistan has coal, wind and solar energy alternatives that can work if a proper strategy would be developed. But one alternative is even interesting and unfolded at strategic fronts i.e. BIO FUELS. In this post I would like to examine the chances and variables that we possess on ground to promote our BIO FUEL Industry.

In the context of climate changes and cost effectiveness, fuels have a brand new definition in our world. The way world is chasing climatically and cost friendly fuel the country like Pakistan is having landscape & agro-scene that is rich of BIO FUEL source potential.

Bio Fuels can work as mitigation against earth’s heating up and equally they can be a cost effective alternative fuel. Bio Fuels refers to the fuel developed by crops or wood-based elements. This includes rice husks, corn, wood and molasses etc that have potential to be converted in fuel.

Currently Pakistan has a cultivable area of 21.2 million hectares out its total area of about 80 million hectares. The cultivable area is dropped from 22.3 million hectares from 2002. It was mainly because of shortage of water and raise in soil salinity. Even then the cultivable area of about 27 percent is not bad indeed.

Experts of Bio Fuels identify Pakistan’s land as rich in natural species of plants that can turn Bio Fuels rocking. Brassica, Pongamia pinnata & Ricinus communis are considered as plants that bear seeds that can firmly produce BIODIESEL in Pakistan. Government has already initiated a program named The National BIODIESEL Program that is targeting production of BIO DIESEL through renewable sources such as vegetable oil, animal fats, specific plant seeds, recycled cooking oil.

As per National Bio Diesel program BIODIESEL is compatible with any diesel engine in its pure form known as B100. They are working 20% BIODIESEL with 80% petroleum diesel that is termed as B20. They have a vision to convert PETRODIESEL to BIODIESEL that can help swapping yearly 8 million tons of diesel consumption in Pakistan that consist of 50% petro-diesel being imported. This usage of diesel is the 75% of country’s fuel consumption as per the program statistics. The most important fact that this program reveals is interesting i.e. 10% of BIODIESEL replacement can save US$ 1 billion per annum.

The use of BIOFUELS is really a cost effective one. Brazil is one out of few countries that have been successfully producing BIOETHANOL that they sell on US$ 26 per barrel that looks really a cost friendly alternative of current fuels across the world that ranges from US$ 65 to US$ 75. Even there are some political and monopoly considerations that U.S. always discourage Brazil’s ethanol to access U.S. markets. U.S. also had a track to imposed 50 cent a gallon import duty on Brazil’s ethanol. But it can never reduce the potential of those countries that takes steps to switch to BIO FUELS and plan further to export it.

If we see Pakistan’s perspective of BIOFUELS our sugarcane can produce excellent BIOFUEL viability. Existing sugar mills are producing below capacity sugar output and sugarcane cultivation is getting lesser viable every year. The alternative use of sugarcane for BIOFUELS can bring revolutionary change to sugarcane cultivation in Pakistan. Even the waste of Sugar production can utilized in this regard. We can create a robust market of industrial alcohol and BIOFUELS out of our sugarcane production.

As we consume 85% of our sugarcane for sugar production the by product of sugarcane i.e. molasses can be utilized as a source of BIOFUELS. After adding a little value we can use the best out of our sugarcane production and provide handy earning options for sugarcane sector. This can even economically add efficiency by producing BIOFUEL that would be cheaper and environment friendly.

Yes the problem can arise if our farmers shall go specific for BIOFUEL input cultivation due to its economical attractiveness that can harm our food sector but this can be controlled by a sensibly developed strategy. We can not forego one strong point for our economy by another weakness of ours. We need to bring management from top to bottom to accomplish our desired outcomes. We have a big land area and we can diversify by bringing a new skilled agro labor force.

A molecular sieve technology can convert raw material into BIOFUELS that can be established in a half year time. The establishment of these technical resources can be done by incurring the investment of approximately PKR 140 million. Once it starts producing industrial ethanol that takes rapid to recover the investment and add a handsome social and economic value to the country and businessman. It is certainly a great opportunity to control inflation and reducing dependence on petro products that risen our import bills at macro level.

In this regard the biggest challenge to country’s managers is to provide strategic framework and project finance options to this emerging sector of economy. The government has to take serious steps to hinder export of molasses mainly to Russia and surrounding countries that uses molasses for alcohol manufacturing.

We even can promote a plant known as KEKAR in our lesser cultivated areas that doesn’t need a lot water and care to appear. This plant can be cultivated on barren lands. If our BIO-Scientists & Government can work together so this can add as a big source of BIOFUELS. Government can plant KEKAR all across Pakistan where we have no population. We have a big land to accomplish this task. This can even prove as a good strategy to promote goat farming in these areas because it is the cheapest food for animals like goats. It equally can work for the need of wood for burning and commercial use.

I think in this regard the success is not feasible without private sector’s participation. The corporate sector has to carry innovative business to benefit the country and enjoying the first in advantage and in this regard BIOFUELS is the sector open with greatest potential. Corporate sector have to develop detailed research and business strategy to convert the ideas into profits that can add employment mainly in rural areas of Pakistan that certainly provide cheap fuel to industrial and transportation sectors.

BIOFUELS shall certainly be the step towards economically viable & environment friendly Pakistan. We have no lacking in resources and talent to covert these ideas in a myth of success but the biggest need of time is to put our socks up and bring strategy and performance in to change our future for betterment. We need to fuel our will to create a new and dynamic BIOFUEL scenario for our greatest Pakistan.


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shahzad Says:

i m interestd in biofuel.let me know how i can get help to achieve this.

05 - July - 2011 01:24:55 PM

irfan Says:

good worko,,,one of friend is intrested to invest and bring this in pakistan from USA,,, please comment

13 - February - 2012 04:16:34 PM

Naveed Ajmal Says:

All we know that we have abundent resources but thier is need to create awareness on Governament and public level. in pakistan lot of people want to deliver effort for the creation on alternative energy resources but due to not clear strategy of Govt: they can not do

20 - October - 2012 11:51:04 AM

Dr Abdul Rehman Says:

biofuels sources as outlined in the above article does not mention algae as a potential source of biodiesel production. Algae biodiesel technology is a dual-benefit mechanism of not only getting rid of the wastewater pollution but harnessing the energy contents contained in them and converting them into biodiesel. And, Pakistan richly qualifies to go for this technology as all the ingredients required for algae growth are abundantly naturally available here. (Nov 20, 2014 @ MUET Jamshoro)

20 - November - 2014 12:07:35 PM

Rashid Nadeem Says:

We can produce Bio diesel from used cooking oil but government has banned the import of this cheap source, please advice how we can participate in the production of Alternative energy???

28 - November - 2014 07:39:10 AM

arwa Says:

its very mch nice it do helped me alot

07 - March - 2016 02:49:35 PM

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Mr. Omer

Mr. Omer [1982 born] started  his professional career as a commercial / investment banker after achieving Gold Medal in Finance at master level from University of Karachi in 2006.

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