Pakistan’s first International Conference and Expo on Biomass Gasification Technologies held in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s first Conference and Expo on Biomass Gasification Technologies highlighted the importance of Biomass Gasification Technologies to address country’s severe energy challenges.
The first International Conference & Expo on “Biomass Gasification Technologies”, held at Jinnah Auditorium, NUST, in Islamabad.
The two-day conference was jointly organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Pakistan and the U.S.-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCAS-E), under a GEF-funded UNIDO project “Promoting Sustainable Energy through Biomass in Pakistan”. Federal Minister for Science & Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain graced the occasion as the chief guest in the opening session on Wednesday, July, 27.
USPCAS-E at NUST and UNIDO are collaborating on fostering Entrepreneurship on clean technology innovation, with the special focus on indigenous manufacturing of biomass gasifiers. Pakistan has immense biomass potential estimated at 5000 MW. The Forum brought together a collation of eminent statesmen, diplomats, academics, practitioners, and students to deliberate on issues confronting the energy sector in Pakistan.
The Minister of Science and Technology in his address said “The Conference theme is related to the ongoing and anticipated challenges within energy sector that affect the lives of Pakistanis and impede economic growth. This forum should form public-private partnerships and interest-specific networks by bringing together the best minds from across the globe, government and the business community to produce tangible solutions for Pakistan’s greatest challenges in energy security.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Esam Alqararah, UNIDO Country Head, said that UNIDO was pleased to work in collaboration with NUST and that the conference would pave the way for more self-reliant and productive energy and industrial sectors in Pakistan.
“Our project ‘Sustainable Energy Production and Use from Biomass in Pakistan’ endeavors to help industries transition from expensive oil-based power generation to clean and renewable resource of biomass that is present in the country abundantly as a means to strengthen the SME industrial sector of Pakistan,” he added. During the opening session of the conference, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Mr. Neil Buhne congratulated NUST and UNIDO on organizing such an event underlining the fact that such gatherings allow for a real mix of international experience and local knowledge that would no doubt help develop the biomass sector in Pakistan. He further elaborated on how events such as these are working towards the achievement of the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.
Earlier in his address, Rector NUST Engr Muhammad Asghar emphasized the importance of Biomass Gasification Technologies. He said that the UNIDO-NUST project on promoting BGT systems aimed at addressing the energy challenges by combining capacity building and demonstration of projects that had high replication potential with interventions that sought to establish a market environment conducive to investment in this important energy sector. He added that the conference would provide a robust platform for shared learning experiences and exchange of ideas between local and international experts to implement efficient utilization of biomass in this otherwise non-commercial energy sector.
The two-day event encompassed 6 technical sessions along with panel discussions on a diverse range of topics related to BGTs. The panel sessions were designed to address the Industrial applications of BGTs as alternative and efficient sustainable fuel for our future. The international speakers from across the globe along with national experts in the area delivered multiple talks on the pressing issues of energy crises with a view to adopting BGTs at the SMEs, industries, and rural community levels. The primary themes of the Conference comprised of Current Research and Development Trends of BGTs, BGTs Lessons for Developing Countries: Strategic Overview for Technology Transfer, BGTs for SMEs & Rural Communities: Resource, Economics and Business Aspects, BGTs Integration with Other Technologies: Options and Sustainability, Policy & Regulatory Considerations for Promotion of BGTs in Pakistan and Financing Biomass Technologies: Role of public, private and international agencies.
The conference sessions were concluded by Chief Guest Federal Secretary for Science and Technology, Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken. He said the aim should be to address Pakistan’s energy challenges by influencing Policy Making, developing human resource, promoting Applied Research, protecting our environment and mobilizing communities to contribute to sustainable future.
The forum was finally concluded with “Islamabad Biomass Declaration” made by Prof. Dr. Carlos Rufin (Harvard Kennedy School) on behalf of the participants of the two-day conference calling for all stakeholders working together for the promotion and indigenization of biomass gasification in Pakistan. Lastly, memoranda of understanding were signed between Purdue University, USA, NUST and UET Peshawar for cooperation in renewable energy and biomass gasification research and the Dutch company, Knoef Consulting and K-axis Engineering pertaining to cooperation biomass gasification technology.