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BIOMASS POTENTIAL IN PAKISTAN

:
The Power crisis in Pakistan:
At present Pakistan is experiencing severe energy crisis which is resulting in adverse long term
economic and social problems. The Electricity and Gas shortages have directly impacted the
common man, Industry and commercial activities.
High cost of Energy mix is the main underlying reason behind the power crisis. The main fuel for
the local power industry is natural gas however due to the continued depletion of this source
and demands elsewhere the power generation companies are now dependant on Furnace oil.
Crude oil prices which have remained around US$ per 112 barrel for a long time make power
generation very expensive.
The energy mix of Pakistan for the year 2010-11 is given in figure 1:

Gas (47.57%)
Oil (32.05%)
Hydro Electric (11.77%)
Coal (6.74%)
Others* (1.88%)

*Others (Nuclear, LPG and Imported Elect
FIGURE 1
The Consumption pattern of Power in Pakistan is in Table 2:
CONSUMER
Domestic
Commercial
Industrial
Agricultural
Public Lighting
Bulk Supply
Total

SHARE (%)
45.7
7.5
28.1
11.8
0.5
6.4
100
Table: 2

Domestic (45.7 %)
Commercial (7.5 %)
Industrial (28.1 %)
Agricultural (11.8%)
Public Lighting (0.5%)
Bulk Supply (6.3%)

FIGURE 2: POWER CONSUMERS IN PAKISTAN
Extent of Power generated in Pakistan during the last 4 years is given in Table 3:
YEAR
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11

GWH
72,770
69,659
73,561
73,806
Table 3i

GWH

75,000
74,000
73,000
72,000
71,000
70,000
69,000

GWH

68,000
67,000
2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

FIGURE 3ii
POWER GENERATED IN PAKISTAN.

The problem being faced by the utilities in Pakistan is not shortage of generation capacity
(which stands at 23,578 MW) but the available capacity remains around 14,000 MW, the unutilised capacity is mainly due to non-availability of Furnace oil to generate power at expensive
rates.
The way out of this crisis is:

Power production at low cost (meaning seeking for fuel sources at much
lower than current purchase price)
Fuel security (reduced dependence on fuel sources which are susceptible
to international price fluctuations and require foreign exchange for
purchase)

It boils down to one target i.e. to look for fuel sources which are cheap and abundantly
available within the country. This description and requirement is fulfilled by resources which
have been largely ignored in the past and are also available in sufficient quantities to remove
the Power crisis prevailing in the country. These sources can be classified as the Biomass.
The Technology Platform: The Technology and equipment mainly used for generating power
from biomass is shown in figure 4:

The equipment required for generating Power from biomass is Steam boilers to produce
steam by burning biomass as fuel; the steam is fed to a condensing type steam turbine
which is drives a Power generator. The main equipment i.e. steam boiler and the
ancillary equipment like cooling towers, pumps and piping can be manufactured within
Pakistan whereas the Steam turbine generator (constituting 40% of the power plant)
will have to be imported from overseas. Similar systems are being used by the sugar
industries in Pakistan using the sugar cane Bagasse (another waste agricultural biomass)
as fuel.
Some of the newly installed sugar factories using this arrangement are exporting their
excess power to the grid during the sugar cane grinding season.
BIOMASS SOURCES IN PAKISTAN:
Being an agrarian country Pakistan has numerous sources of biomass available from agricultural
crops, secondly due to high population density in the urban centres solid waste is also being
generated in quantities suitable for power generation.
Main sources of Biomass in Pakistan are:
 AGRICULTURAL RESIDUES.
 ANIMAL WASTE.
 MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE.
AGRICULTURAL RESIDUES: Agricultural residues include those crop leftovers which have a fuel
value and their potential is not being fully utilized.
The main agricultural residues available locally are:
1. Wheat Straw: At present this is the main source of cattle fodder so cannot be
considered as a source of fuel to generate power.
2. Rice Husk and Rice Straw: Presently being used as a source of fuel in the brick kilns
and also as cattle feed is therefore not considered.
3. Cane trash: The waste of Sugarcane crop which is left in the field and subsequently
burned by the farmers. Sugar Cane trash is a biomass source which is available in
substantial quantities and can be classified as a potent source to produce Power.
4. Cotton Sticks and other plant residues of Cotton crop: These are also a left over in
field, part of this quantity is used for cooking purposes, some quantity is lifted by the
Brick kiln users, 30% is excess and can be used as a biomass source.
In this paper emphasis will be given to the last mentioned sources i.e. Sugar Cane trash and
Cotton Stalks.

Sugar Cane Trash:
Sugar cane trash is generated through the growing of sugar cane which is a major crop in
Pakistan; it is mainly used for the manufacture of refined sugar for local consumption. Sugar is
manufactured in sufficient quantities to fulfill the indigenous requirements of the country.

Figure 5
Sugar Cane Plant

Figure 6i

Sugar cane and trash in the field before harvest

Figure 6ii
Cane trash left in the field after harvesting it will be burned in-situ
As per data collected Sugar cane tops and trash constitutes around 30% of the plant. The cane
tops constitute 20%. Cane tops are used as Cattle fodder and are taken away by the cane
harvesting labor to feed to their dairy animals. The other waste Cane trash constitutes 10% of
the Sugar cane crop. Leaving aside wastages 9% cane trash has been considered as available
biomass for power.
The figures of Sugar cane crop in Pakistan and the trash generated are given in Table 7

YEAR
200607
200708
200809
200910
201011

Sugar
Production
Tonnes

Cane Trash
available
Tonnes

54,741,600

4,926,744

63,920,000

5,752,800

50,045,000

4,504,050

49,372,900

4,443,561

55,308,500
Table: 7

4,977,765

Calorific Value of Sugar cane trash: As per research it has been determined that the Nett.
Calorific value of Cane trash is = 6.7 Gj/Ton. Taking this figure as the bench mark the Power
generating potential of Sugar cane trash available in Pakistan is given in Table 8:

Year

Cane
Trash
(Tonnes)

Thermal Energy in
Cane Trash @ 6.7
GJ/ton
(GJ)

Power
Potential
Sugar cane
trash
(GWH)

200708

5,752,800

38,543,760

10,950

200809

4,504,050

30,177,135

8,573

200910

4,443,561

29,771,859

8,458

201011

4,977,765

33,351,026

9,475

Table 8
COTTON STICKS:
Cotton is the other main cash crop. It is the main source of raw material to the local textile
industry; the lint cotton is also a significant export item. During 2010-11, the crop was
cultivated on an area of 2.67 hectares. The crop figures of Cotton are given in Table 10:

Cotton field

Year
200607
2007-8
2008-9
200910
201011

Cotton
Production
(Bales)

Crop
Production
(Tonnes)

12,856,200
11,655,100
11,819,000

2,186,711
1,982,416
2,010,294

12,913,400

2,196,440

11,560,100
1,966,257
Table 10
Cotton crop data-Pakistan

Quantity and Calorific Value of Cotton Stalks: As per available information and related
publications the ratio of plant waste to Cotton is 3:1. From the waste a portion is used by the
farmers as cooking fuel, some is lifted by the brick kiln operators a substantial quantity is
available for use as fuel for power. The Nett Calorific Value of cotton sticks has been
determined as 7.3 Gj/Ton. Power potential from cotton sticks is given in Table 9:

Year
2007-8
2008-9
200910
201011

Cotton
Stalks
Production
(Tonnes)
5,947,248
6,030,882

Cotton Stalks
Available for
Power Generation
(Tonnes)
1,486,812
1,507,721

Thermal Energy in
Cotton Sticks @
7.33 GJ/Ton
(GJ)
10,898,332
11,051,591

Power
Potential
(GWH)

6,589,320

1,647,330

12,074,929

3,430

5,898,771

1,474,693

10,809,498
Table 11

3,071

3,096
3,140

ANIMAL MANURE:

Energy from Dairy animals: Dairy animals wise Pakistan stands fourth in the world in Milk
production, its indigenous production of milk stands at around 4 billion liters per year. The
cattle and dairy population is also substantial and could be considered for prospecting energy
from the manure from the dairy animals and cattle. The technology for extracting energy from
cattle and dairy animals is through generation of biogas from the manure, this technology is
well introduced in Pakistan and its use will not pose any barriers. The additional advantage for
Power from manure is the Organic Compost and slurry which can subsequently used in the
fields as a rich source of fertilizer. This will result in additional revenues at significant levels
improving the profitability of the dairy farmers and the power operators.

Animals data of Pakistan is given in table 12:

YEAR
200607
200708
200809
200910
201011

Cattle
Population

Buffalo
Population

Total
Animal
Population

Manure
Produced
(Tonnes)

30,674,000

28,146,000 58,820,000

322,039,500

31,829,000

29,001,000 60,830,000

333,044,250

33,029,000

29,883,000 62,912,000

344,443,200

34,285,000

29,413,000 63,698,000

348,746,550

35,568,000

31,726,000 67,294,000
Table 12

368,434,650

Biogas from Manure: The quantity of biogas in any feedstock is dependent on the organic
content of the Feedstock, the average organic content of Cattle and Buffalo manure is 12%.
Table 13 gives the power potential from Animals manure

Year
200607
2007-8
2008-9
200910
201011

Manure
Produced
Tonnes/year

Biogas @
30 m³/Ton
Manure
(m³)

Thermal energy
in Biogas
@ 22 MJ/m³
(GJ)

Biogas Power
Potential @
2.14 Kwh/m³
(GWH)

322,039,500
333,044,250
344,443,200

9,661,185,000
9,991,327,500
10,333,296,000

212,546,070
219,809,205
227,332,512

20,675
21,381
22,113

348,746,550

10,462,396,500

230,172,723

22,390

368,434,650

11,053,039,500
Table 13

243,166,869

23,654

The Dairy Animal holding in Pakistan ranges from very low per farm to the largest located at
Karachi (housing around 400,000 animals). The herd size distribution is given in the table 14

Herd Size

Cattle

Buffalo

1-6

5.204

5.001

7-15

84.10%
0.826

83.40%
0.843

16-50

13.30%
0.14

14.10%
0.14

> 50

2.30%
0.018

2.30%
0.012

Total

0.30%
6.188

0.20%
5.996

100%

100%

Table 14
As per table 11 the maximum % of Cattle and buffalo holding is from 1 – 6 animals, the
production of biogas from this size will be very limited however due to this size the dairy sector
is facing other problems like low productivity, substandard feed and animals health issues, in
order to obtain maximum benefits from the dairy sector the collectivization of dairy farms will
have to be practiced which will enable the farmers to sell their manure to the biogas based
power producers at mutually convenient prices. The second benefit of such arrangement would
be that the effluent solids and liquid coming out of the biogas power plants can be converted
into Organic fertilizer source in quantities which can be used in the fields on large scale.
Municipal Solid Waste:
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is another feedstock which is available in substantial quantities,
the quantities generated in major city centers of Pakistan is 7,121,626 Tonnes/yr:
The calorific values of Municipal solid waste have been determined by laboratories and the
average figures as per different classifications are given in Table 15:

S.NO
1
2
3
4
5

AREA
MOISTURE
%
CLASSIFICATION
High Income
Residential area
60
Medium Income
Residential area
63
Low Income
Residential Area
67
Commercial
Area
64
Industrial Area
61
Table 15

CALORIFIC
VALUE MJ/KG
7.27
6.98
6.25
6.67
7.19

Taking an average calorific value of msw = 6.89 MJ/kg the Thermal energy and power potential
available in the MSW generated in the major urban centers of Pakistan is 13,940 GWH/YR.
To obtain an annual value for 4 years it has been assumed that the generation rate of MSW will
be directly proportional to the population growth rate which is 2 % per annum. In the final
analysis narrated in Table 16 the increase in MSW based power potential has also been
incremented at this rate.
POWER AVAILABLE
FROM MSW
GWH/YR.
13,940
16,728

Year

2007-8
2008-9
200910
201011

20,074
24,088
Table 16

Conclusion: Having determined the theoretical values of the power potential in the agricultural
and urban waste available in Pakistan a summary can be prepared for the total Power which
can be realized. This figure is given in Table 17:

YEAR
200708
200809
200910
201011

Power from
Dairy Biogas
(GWH)

Power From
MSW @ 2%
increase/yr
(GWH)

Total Biomass
Power
available
(GWH)

3,096

21,381

13,940

49,367

8,573

3,140

22,113

14,219

48,044

8,458

3,430

22,390

14,503

48,781

9,475

3,071

23,654
Table 17

14,793

50,993

Power
from Sugar
cane trash
(GWH)

Power
from
Cotton Sticks
(GWH)

10,950

It is also important to compare the potential or theoretical figures with the total power
presently being generated in Pakistan this comparison is given in Table 18:
Power
generated
in Pakistan
GWH

Biomass
Potential of
Pakistan
GWH

Biomass
potential as %
of Total Power
consumed

200708

72,770

49,367

68 %

200809

69,659

48,044

69 %

200910

73,561

48,781

66 %

201011

73,806

50,993

69 %

Year

Table 18
Studying the above comparison and assuming that even if the Biomass potential of Pakistan is
realized it can easily replace major part of the total power generated in the country and
become a substitute for the Imported and expensive furnace oil and natural gas required in
other sectors. This replacement will be much cheaper than power generated from furnace oil.
Additionally advantages adopting the biomass route will be multi-dimensional like:




Power supply at affordable rates to the consumers.
A sustained supply without the menace of regular and long power outages.
An indigenous resource for localized power generation which is not dependent on the
price fluctuations linked with imported fossil fuels.
An additional source of income for the growers of Sugar Cane, cotton crop and the dairy
farmers thereby creating additional profits for the stakeholders. A source of business
opportunities for traders buying biomass raw material from the farmers processing it
and selling to power operators.
A source of employment in the rural areas and prevent migration of populace to urban
centers seeking job opportunities away from home.
Power from biomass can be generated through technology platforms and equipment
which is mainly indigenous and the technical manpower to operate it is also abundantly
available in the country.

The Msw based power plants have to be installed in the cities (where the garbage is
generated) thus removing the problems associated with garbage collection and disposal
and making available a source of income for the funds starved civic agencies of the
cities.

Barriers in implementation:


Setting up centralised biomass based power plants will be a barrier, this hurdle can be
overcome by installing a chain of smaller power plants ranging from 15MW to 50MW
located in those areas where the biomass is available in economical quantities, and this
will also save in the transportation costs and will result in reduced line losses.
The Micro-grid concept should be adopted for time savings and immediate
implementation.
In absence of a centralized approach the second option would be to go for micro power
plants of 15 Kw to 1000 Kw range based on Gasifier and biogas plants using the
agricultural biomass and animal manure as the feed stock, this route will also be viable
and could be adopted on the basis of individual participation of the small and medium
land holding farmers. The assistance of NGOs and small and medium scale
entrepreneurs would be helpful in adopting this route.