The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) have joined hands for the development of first ‘Biomass Cluster in Pakistan’.
The core objective of the project is to promote market-based adoption of modern biomass energy conversion technologies for power generation in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and rural areas in Pakistan.
An inaugural consultative meeting was held on Monday at the U.S Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy, NUST under the banner of UNIDO’s Programme Promoting Sustainable Energy production and Use from Biomass in Pakistan, said a press release.
The meeting was attended by key stakeholders who discussed the development of first-ever biomass cluster in Pakistan.
There was a healthy participation from government and non-government sectors, private companies, academic and research institutes, international agencies and financial institutions. Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Punjab Bio Energy Company Limited (PBECL), SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Ministry of Food Security and Research, SAARC Energy Center (SEC), Asia Foundation, Punjab University, DESCON and Ali Engineering were amongst the prominent participants who provided their valuable suggestions for the development and operation of a sustainable biomass cluster.
“Promoting Sustainable Energy Production and Use from Biomass in Pakistan” was an initiative of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) financed through GEF funding. Under the banner of this initiative U.S Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy, NUST was tasked to work on Biomass Cluster Development and compilation of localization strategy for adoption of modern biomass conversion technologies in Pakistan.
It involves the information dissemination and confidence building of senior management in companies (beneficiaries as well as prospective technology vendors) by demonstrating the financial and economic attractiveness of biomass gasification applications worldwide and in the Asian region in particular and of the opportunity to provide technology delivery services.
Furthermore, it includes a study on financial incentive mechanisms that will assist commercial biomass projects in Pakistan to achieve financial viability status. Ultimately, this led to the development of an investment and replication strategy for the use of Biomass Gasification Technology in SMEs and in rural areas through a cluster-based approach.
All participants agreed upon the need of a cluster that supports a shared knowledge/data repository, is easily accessible by all stakeholders and provides SMEs- and farmers-friendly tools, templates and apps promoting ease of doing business. According to key stakeholders, such measures are inevitable for an accelerated penetration of biomass-generated green energy in Pakistan. During the workshop, the stakeholders discussed the scope and services of the cluster, its sustainability and operational strategy.
All stakeholders emphasized on E3 (i.e., Energy, Environment and Economy) for sustainable societal and national development and appreciated USPCAS-E and UNIDO’s endeavors for promotion of green energy in Pakistan. USPCAS-E’s expresses its gratitude to all stakeholders for the active participation, especially UNIDO for being a long-term partner in this journey, and plans to hold similar networking seminars and workshops in the future as well. This vision is in context with NUST and UNIDO’s commitment of contributing towards exalted goals of GoP such as 30% renewable energy contribution in the energy mix by 2030, rural electrification and provision of low-cost energy to SMEs and larger industries.