A candid discussion with Mr. Imran Zafar, County Manager, Enercon Systems Intl (Pvt) Ltd
- Briefly summarize what value addition Enercon is doing in energy sector
Our focus is small to medium size industries where their load requirement varies from 1MW to 50MW. In early 2000 due to the economy of Gas based power Generation, new industries were set up and industries extended their load with Gas based power Generation.
However, today’s situation is changed. Now Gas reserves are depleting. National Grid can provide a maximum of 7.5MW power on an 11kV line to any industry, higher power can be given only on a 132kV line, the cost of which is high and require significant space.
Solar has been a high priority due to source of green energy and a requirement by customers of export industries. However, Solar is available only for 8 hrs or so. Therefore, every customer needs to maintain different power sources to achieve reliability, availability, and cost-effectiveness.
So, Enercon as a power control and automation expert help industries with centralized power management and synchronization system to ensure customer run with all sources in parallel or change from one source to another without any interruption and utilize the most economical power.
- How do you see the current energy crisis, is solar solution the answer to the problem?
First of all, the Energy crisis is not only because of technical reasons but there are several non-technical reasons including wrong decisions, delayed decisions, corruption in the projects, theft, etc.
With the expansion of population, we have not invested in renewable power generation including Hydel, wind and solar and now imported fuel based power generation is almost 75% of our energy mix which is not a sustainable solution.
PV solar is an easily acquirable power source compared to wind or hydel. There are many ways we use solar panels, the cheapest way is to connect DC appliances & a battery with one or two solar plates in remote locations, then we can install it on homes in the form of ON Grid solar, industries utilize their large roof area to generate few MW energy and lastly, we have large solar farm projects.
It is important to understand that burden of maintaining conventional Power plants and their capacity is not reduced by adding more large-scale solar plants in the system. As during night time existing power plants have to be used, we can make some reduction in fuel cost. The best way for solar plant utilization is to add large scale batteries with solar plant. The concept is not common in Pakistan but it is the future, by large batteries (Energy storage), we can store solar power to consume during night time, this is also applicable for home users as well.
In first-world countries, it is now necessary to add battery storage of a certain capacity with corresponding solar plants, still the battery cost is significantly high but it is reducing with constant R&D happening worldwide.
- How your business is impacted by Pakistan’s foreign exchange problem?
Industrial activities and the business cycle is significantly affected due to import delays. Many projects are on hold. However, this situation also provided many companies need to look outside for international business.
It provides both earning and significant improvement in the skill set of the company. We have been providing our services to our group and other customers for synchronization, SCADA and cloud-based Energy monitoring, PV solar & Generator management, and synchronization.
- How the situation will change? What hope do you see in the future?
Pakistan’s big population makes it a big consumer market for local as well as international companies.
The consumption produces business activity and growth for many businesses including food, clothing, energy, healthcare, IT, etc. But if we do not export then it will negatively impact our foreign exchange balance. Therefore each company must strive to balance its revenue for local as well as international market.
Unfortunately, many local manufacturers take duty cover provided to them against foreign companies to supply their product easily in the local market and become complacent to concentrate only on the local market. This mindset must be changed and either we change our import duty structure or force each manufacturer to ensure certain export share from their revenue.