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News Headlines for the month of
MAY 2015

Thar coal plant starts power generation

After hectic efforts of Pakistani scientists and successful experiments, power generation from Thar coal gasification project has been started. A renowned Scientist Dr Samar Mubarak Mand told Radio Pakistan in an interview that the project has the capacity of producing one hundred megawatt of the electricity. He said that another ninety megawatt of the electricity could be produced by the end of next year.

Copyright Independent News Pakistan, 2015

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'Special measures being taken to overcome energy shortage'

The Punjab mines and minerals minister has claimed that his government is focusing on resolving the chronic issue of energy shortages and special measures are being taken in the next year's provincial budget. Minister Chaudhry Sher Ali Khan, opening the fourth Solar Pakistan 2015 with the concurrent event of Safety and Security Pakistan 2015 Exhibition and Conference at the Expo Centre in Lahore, between May 29 and 31, claimed in a speech, "The shortage is hurting all segments of life badly, particularly industry, and it is working to explore all possible resources including solar, wind, coal, thermal and hydel opportunities. Commissioning of 100megawatt Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur which will ultimately give 1,000 megawatts in the national grid is a proof of sincerity of the government to resolve energy crisis." Over 100 companies from 14 countries including China, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and the United States participated in the event. He told reporters, "EGO Pakistan 2015 is an international platform for the energy industry. At this critical stage events like these in Pakistan, are a requirement for the well being of the country and the residents of Pakistan. I am delighted to observe the participation of national and international companies from the energy industry in this event which has a growing interest to share technologies and ideas to find solutions for the energy crisis." He then claimed that the chief Minister was taking keen interest and getting a regular feedback on different projects. "The government is seeking help from all the developed countries including China, Turkey, Denmark, Germany and others for producing cheaper energy in abundance to meet the energy demands. Holding of exhibition which I am inaugurating today can also prove beneficial to meet all the stakeholders and evolve a solid policy to resolve energy issue on war footing," he added. EGO Pakistan 2015 incorporating Solar Pakistan 2015 was strongly supported by government bodies and trade associations since they consider such events play a vital role in the development of the local industry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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German team urged to invest in solar power project

A representative delegation of German parliament called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here Thursday. The delegation was headed by Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Economic Co-operation & Development Ms Dagmar G Wohrl. German Ambassador Cyrill Nunn was also present on the occasion. Matters of mutual interest, strengthening of bilateral relations and promotion of co-operation between the two countries in various sectors were discussed in the meeting. The Chief Minister offered German delegation to make investment in a 1000 megawatts solar power project in Punjab. The delegation expressed keen interest in the project. Talking to the German delegation, the Chief Minister said that there are strong friendly and trade relations between Pakistan and Germany and Germany is a big trade partner of Pakistan. He said that Germany played an important role in the grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan which has resulted in increase in Pakistan's exports in textile and garments sector. However, he said, there is a need for promotion of economic and trade relations between the two countries. Shahbaz Sharif said that Germany has made tremendous progress in every sector especially in the field of technology. He said that Punjab government has completed a 100 megawatts solar power project with its own resources at Quaid-a-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur in a record period and it has started energy production. He said that services of a German consultant were acquired for the solar project while solar panels had been provided by China. The Chief Minister told that a project of setting up gas-based power houses of 3,600 megawatts electricity has been evolved and services of a German company have been acquired for this purpose. He said that 1,200 megawatts gas-based power project is being set up by Punjab government with its resources while federal government will establish 2,400 megawatts energy projects. Referring to the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism, the Chief Minister said that besides energy crisis, Pakistan is also facing the challenge of terrorism and extremism. He said that officers and jawans of armed forces, police, common citizens and people of all segments of the society have rendered supreme sacrifices in the war against terrorism and more than 50 thousand Pakistanis have lost their lives in this war. He said that Pak army is achieving glorious successes in the Operation Zarb-e-Azb and political and military leadership as well as the whole nation is united to eliminate the menace of terrorism. He said that besides use of force, social and economic measures are essential for rooting out terrorism and extremism. He said that youth are being empowered to curb the trend of terrorism and extremism and a solid strategy has been evolved to impart various skills to lakhs of youth annually in Punjab. He said that thousands of youth have also been imparted skills in accordance with market needs under Skill Development Programme which is continuing successfully and its scope is being extended to the whole province. The Chief Minister said that Germany should consider co-operation with Punjab in various programmes of empowerment of youth. He further said that government is following the policy of peaceful relations with neighbouring countries. He said that effective measures are being taken to eliminate child labour from the province and a target of six months has been given for eliminating child labour from brick kilns. He further said that all citizens of the country have equal rights and besides Christians, members of other communities living in Pakistan are also very patriotic. He said that Christian community has played a commendable role in the progress and prosperity of the country especially in education, health and other social sectors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Prime Minister pushes for stronger energy ties with Central Asia

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif concluded a visit to the Central Asian region Friday, pushing to expand energy ties with the former Soviet states to tackle country''s chronic power shortages. In a meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart, Temir Sariyev, in the capital Bishkek on Thursday, Sharif discussed an electricity project that would see Pakistan import up to 1,000 megawatts from mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The 1,200-kilometre (750-mile) power line, which would also supply 300 megawatts to conflict-torn Afghanistan, "would ease the electro-energy deficit" of his country of 185 million people, Sharif said as the two agreed to develop energy, security and tourism ties. Sariyev promised his country''s "active participation" in the project, known as CASA 1000. Sharif also met Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev during the visit. Though the World Bank is financing half the project, CASA 1000 faces challenges since Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan can produce an energy surplus only in the summer when their mountain rivers fill with water. The project would therefore only partially solve Pakistan''s politically contentious deficit. Sharif flew to Bishkek from the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, where he spoke with Turkmenistan''s leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Wednesday. Little detail was disclosed from negotiations in secluded gas-rich Turkmenistan, but they were likely focused mainly on TAPI, the ambitious pipeline project valued at up to $10 billion that would pump Turkmen gas to the South Asian country and India, also via Afghanistan. The planned 1,800-kilometre link could deliver 33 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually to the growing Indian and Pakistani markets with Afghanistan likely to absorb no more than 0.5 bcm. After the talks, Sharif said that he hoped to "intensify work on the TAPI project that would bring advantages to the entire region." The pipeline however faces security concerns in Afghanistan and ballooning costs while it lacks a commercial investor. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in April the project may take five years to complete.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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No ban on solar, wind power projects, says minister

Sindh Minister for Finance and Energy Murad Ali Shah has a detailed meeting with the Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif regarding energy issues especially with regard to the reported ban on solar and wind power projects. "The Federal Minister has dispelled the impression of ban on new solar and wind energy projects in the country and expressed the focus of the Federal Government towards optimal utilisation of indigenous resources especially the renewable energy," said the minister for finance and energy. The minister informed that currently the share of renewable energy in the country's energy mix was minimal whereas other developing countries had set ambitious targets to enhance the share of renewable energy sources. Being indigenous, clean and economical resources renewable energy projects are considered most viable option for import substitution, reducing basket price of energy and to offset the environmental impacts of fossil fuels. Shah said the province of Sindh has well endowed renewable energy potential of solar, wind and other resources including identified wind corridor of 50,000 MW. The Government of Sindh has introduced various measures which include developer support framework, incentives to manufacture renewable energy equipment. A number of wind and solar energy projects are being processed by the Government of Sindh to mitigate the persisting energy crisis and the tariff notified by NEPRA will be strictly followed, while developing the renewable energy projects in the province, said the Minister for fiancé & Energy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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ADB providing $65 million loan for hydropower project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing loan assistance of up to $65 million for a new private sector hydropower project in Pakistan, which will continue the country's drive to overcome power shortages, and strengthen its energy security. "Severe power shortages remain a major constraint on Pakistan's economy, and scaling up the use of hydropower is essential for meeting demand and reducing the country's reliance on costly imported fossil fuels for electricity production," said Mohammed Azim Hashimi, Investment Specialist in ADB's Private Sector Operations Department. "This project also supports the Government of Pakistan's policy of tapping the private sector for power industry investment." The loan will go to Mira Power Ltd, a special purpose company controlled by three Republic of Korea companies which will build and operate a run-of-river hydropower generating facility on the Poonch River in Kotli district, around 160 kilometres from Islamabad. The project will be carried out on a build-own-operate-transfer basis over 30 years, with the electricity sold to the state-owned National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited under a take-or-pay power purchase agreement. The special purpose company is majority-controlled by Korea South-East Power Co Ltd - a subsidiary of listed Korea Electric Power Company, with other stakes held by units of the Daelim Business Conglomerate and Lotte. The new facility will provide additional installed generating capacity of 102 megawatts, equivalent to almost two percent of the current power shortfall in the country. By substituting fossil fuel-driven electricity, it will help Pakistan avoid greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 254,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year. Hydropower is also the cheapest source of electricity on per unit cost compared to all other alternatives. Social and environmental concerns about the project have been addressed through a number of measures which include the construction of a weir designed to prevent flooding, and the development of a fisheries and wildlife conservation plan which will help protect endangered species. Cash compensation and livelihood support will be provided to households affected by the project. ADB has been a pioneer in the development of private sector clean power projects in Pakistan, financing the first two hydropower and first three wind power projects in the country. Its provision of long-term debt has helped meet a gap in the market for infrastructure finance, and its presence has helped reassure and encourage private sector investor interest in the industry. Other project loan assistance will be provided by Export-Import Bank of Korea, the International Finance Corporation and its parallel co-financiers, along with equity from the special purpose company's shareholders, for a total investment cost of over $367 million. The project will be carried out over 55 months, with expected completion in March 2019. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totalled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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IFC''s program launched: Off-grid consumers'' energy problems to be solved: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar addressing the launching ceremony of IFC''s Lighting Pakistan Programme here Thursday said that national economy had become stable and taken a direction and that operation against extremism was progressing successfully. The minister talking about the IFC''s Lighting Programme said that supported by other important development partners - UK AID and AusAID - it was an important intervention to address the energy problem as it would serve to provide clean energy solution to millions of off-grid consumers. He said the ''Pakistan Lighting Consumer Perceptions Study'' being released by IFC, revealed that $2.2 billion were spent every year on off-grid lighting products by Pakistani households. This was a very large sum of money and meant that an average household spent Rs 850 per month on traditional lighting sources. In that context he highlighted the importance of quality based solar products saying he was pleased to know that the IFC was now seeking to roll out these standardized products in Pakistan. The finance minister thanked the International Finance Corporation for launching this important programme. He said "it is due to government’s tireless efforts and their positive impact on the economy that Moody''s improved Pakistan''s rating outlook last year from ''negative'' to ''stable'' and, more recently, from ''stable'' to ''positive''. The Standard and Poor''s had followed the suit," he added. The minister said major initiatives are now under way in terms of power generation, transmission system upgrades, LNG, diversified fuel based projects as well as alternative/renewable energy projects would transform the landscape of power sector within next three years. This should add 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent to Pakistan''s GDP growth, he remarked. The minister said the government was taking all possible measures to ensure energy security and sustainable development. "In a bid to diversify the country''s energy mix, we have been giving due attention to fast track development of Alternative/Renewable Energy (ARE) resources. The AEDB has been pursuing the development of renewable energy power projects through the private sector. As a result, more than $1 billion investment had been made alone in the wind energy sector in last couple of years." Five wind power projects with a cumulative capacity of 255.4 MW were operational at the moment and another eight wind power projects having a cumulative capacity of 429 MW were under construction. Two bagasse based projects with a cumulative capacity of 52 MW were also operational, Dar added. The minister further said that the government was also leading the way in bringing in standardisation of quality in solar products, particularly for imported products, through AEDB. It was being ensured that quality solar devices were imported into Pakistan so that the consumers get value for money and avoid market spoilage. Late last year, the government took a big step in removing tariffs on the import of solar products to help meet the gap between demand and supply in energy sector. This meant quality products could now be retailed to the consumers at the lowest cost possible. He said we are also seeking to drive demand for solar and wind technologies by introducing net metering so that households installing solar or wind technologies on their residential and commercial properties could reduce their energy bill by feeding energy back into the grid. The government had built a 100 MW solar plant in Punjab, as part of its plan of 1,000 MW from solar energy, so that it would lead the way to large-scale private sector investment in renewables in Pakistan. The Pakistan Off-Grid Lighting Consumer Perceptions Study, released at the launch underscored the problem of power shortage in Pakistan. The report showed that most Pakistani households rely on conventional and low-quality mix of battery powered torches, kerosene, and candles that do not meet their lighting needs. The Lighting Pakistan Program will help raise awareness among the households about alternatives including quality solar-powered lighting products. The program is supported by IFC''s development partners UKAID and Australia AID. It is also part of IFC''s wider strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions and boost clean energy projects.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Danish envoy meets Administrator DHA

Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan Jesper Moller Sorensen, visited DHA Main Office and met Administrator DHA Brigadier Zubair Ahmed to discuss the possibilities of engagement of the Danish Company for establishment of a 20MW Solar PV Farm. He was accompanied with the delegation of Vestas, a Danish Global Wind Energy Development Company. The project would subsequently be upgraded to 50MW Wind Farm, a press release of DHA said here on Wednesday. The Ambassador appreciated DHA's initiatives for renewable energy development at DCK and assured Administrator DHA of the interest of his government in bringing technology and its financing for the project.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Foreign investors discuss energy projects with Punjab chief minister

A delegation of foreign investors led by Javed Malik, Special Ambassador of Prime Minister on Foreign Investment, called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and discussed matters relating to investment in energy projects during the meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday. The delegation included former American Ambassador and Consultant American Energy Company Hans Hertal, Chairman American Company Micheal Yurieve, Company Advisor Micheal Hood, Vice President of Company Alexi Domikhin, Chairman of another American company Shahal Khan, president Alun Richards and others. Secretary Energy, Chief Executive Officer Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park and officials concerned were present on the occasion. According to DGPR, the foreign investors gave a briefing about energy projects particularly generating electricity by use of gas. Talking to investors, Shahbaz Sharif said that serious energy crisis being faced by the country has badly affected all sectors of life. The energy crisis has also caused irreparable lose to national economy. The government is endeavouring to resolve energy crisis on priority basis. He said work is continuing on energy generation projects from all sources including hydel, coal and gas. Punjab government is setting up 1200 megawatt energy project through gas while federal government has also planned to set up 2400 megawatt energy project through gas in Punjab. He said all out facilities and security are being provided to foreign investors in energy sector. There is a vast scope of investment in power sector for foreign investors in Pakistan particularly Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Energy and manufacturing sectors: Qatari investors invited to make investment

Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri, Ambassador of Qatar called on Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Parliament House here on Friday morning. Talking to the Qatari Ambassador, Speaker National Assembly said that Pakistan cherishes its historic brotherly relations with Qatar and wants them to be taken to new heights through parliamentary co-operation between the legislatures of both the countries. The Speaker said that parliamentary diplomacy was an excellent way of bringing two nations more closer which were already tied in eternal religious and historic bonds. He appreciated the unwavering support of Qatar to Pakistan as and when required. Expressing his satisfaction over the economic co-operation between Pakistan and Qatar, the Speaker said that Qatari investors should take advantage of up-coming business opportunities in Pakistan and invest in various sectors especially the energy and manufacturing sectors. He said that Pakistan requires support of his brotherly country for meeting the energy scarcity. Qatari Ambassador Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri thanked the Speaker for his remarks. He said that Qatar also attaches significances to its relations and strongly desires to see a prosperous, stable and economically vibrant Pakistan. He said that the incumbent Qatari leadership was keen to further enhance ties with Pakistan. The Ambassador said that Qatar would extend all-out support to Pakistan in addressing the energy shortages. He agreed for frequent interaction between parliamentarians of both the countries. He said that Qatar considers Pakistan as its brother and desires to further solidify the fraternal bonds. "We would always stand by its Pakistani brethren whenever needed," he added.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Laraib Energy signs MoU with Mirpur University

Laraib Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Hub Power Company (Hubco), has singed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST). The MoU will set out opportunities for collaboration and positive academic engagement between the company and the university to mutual benefit. The MoU was signed by Habibur Rehman, Vice Chancellor MUST and Hasnain Haider, CEO Laraib Energy Limited. Registrar MUST, Dean and Chairman Engineering Departments MUST, General Manager Mangla Dam, Chief Engineer Mangla Dam, Commissioner Mangla Dam Raising Affairs, Collector Mangla Dam Raising Affairs, Deputy Commissioner, DSP Mirpur on behalf of DIG and SSP, Deputy Director Environmental Protection Agency Azad Jammu and Kashmir and TNB Remaco (TNBRP) management were also present at the occasion. As part of this internship training program, the students of Electrical, Electronics & Mechanical Engineering departments will be given opportunities of a one-month internship at Laraib Plant, in collaboration with TNBRP. The prime objective of this initiative is to harness the practical knowledge of hydro power plants among the students and to develop a pool of qualified local resources for the future endeavours. Speaking at the occasion, Hasnain Haider, CEO Laraib Energy said, "Education is a key component of our CSR policy. It is a matter of immense pleasure for us to have entered into this MoU which will provide the students with exposure to best practices in power plant management, HSE and other related matters. Our team will strictly monitor the program and will go through continuous improvement to ensure that the envisioned objectives are achieved".-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Government urged to construct hydel power projects

Progressive Group on Thursday while welcoming the commissioning of Pakistan's first ever solar power plant that has initially started contributing 100MW of electricity has urged the government to construct hydel power projects which are cheaper power generation means and can give boost to not only the power generation but also bring down its tariff for industrial, commercial and domestic consumers. The Progressive Group President Khalid Usman has urged the government to initiate a larger national debate on importance of Kalabagh Dam for creating consensus on its construction keeping in view the hardships being faced by all because of lower availability of water and shortage of power as well as its high prices. Immediate construction of Kalabagh Dam will not only serve as a huge water reservoir but also produce cheaper energy which is the major issue being faced by the households, agriculture and industrial sectors of Pakistan, he added. Other members of Progressive Group suggested that there should be a national debate by politicians, engineers, qualified people and all stakeholders from all the provinces to take a decision about the Kalabagh Dam. They said that construction of dams would save Pakistan from the devastation of floods which are hitting the country off and on.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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LCCI hails commissioning of 100 megawatts solar power plant

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday welcomed the commissioning of first-ever 100 megawatts solar power plant that will help save huge foreign exchange being used to import oil. LCCI President Ijaz Mumtaz said the initiative of using the indigenous resources like sun and wind should continue to overcome the energy crisis and reduce dependence on imported fuel. He also appealed to domestic consumers to use solar means of power generation at their homes to reduce load on national grid and ensure availability of electricity for trade and industry. Paying rich tributes to the government for the timely completion of the first ever solar power plant, he said the government should also expedite work on hydel power projects so that the masses could get cheaper electricity. The first 100MW project is owned 100 percent by the Punjab government and the Bank of Punjab. The solar plant is made up of the PV area and a 100MW substation. The electrical output has been connected to a 132kilowatt transmission line that runs through the Solar Park. Currently the transmission line has a capacity of up to 400 megawatts and the utility company is in the process of upgrading its capacity to 1,000 megawatts. The project is expected to start generating 1,000 megawatts by the end of 2016 and consists of 400,000 solar panels.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Prime Minister inaugurates 100 megawatts solar power project

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said his government came into power with a commitment to turn around country’s economy and by 2018 the people would witness major improvement in country’s infrastructure, electricity, gas supply and basic facilities. Addressing a large gathering here after inaugurating the 100MW experimental Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, the PM said the project is part of a series of mega projects initiated across the country and vowed to complete these before the end of his government’s tenure. He said his government wants to end poverty, illiteracy and the ills that afflict the nation. He said one of the priorities of his government to generate enough electricity so as to meet its present and future requirements. Another is to root out the menace of extremism and terrorism and make all cities and provinces of Pakistan safe and secure. He further said by end of 2017, load shedding would end and 10,400MW additional power would be available to help the industry work at its full capacity and generate jobs. He mentioned the improvements in Pakistan’s economy and trade and said the world media too now recognizes these successes. Prime Minister Sharif said the project showed the confidence of investors in Pakistan’s economy. Prime Minister Sharif recalled the recent visit of the Chinese President and the agreements and Memoranda of Understandings worth around US 46 billion dollars inked during the visit. He said the solar project was part of the Pakistan China Economic Corridor (PCEC) and added that he would personally visit all the projects under the PCEC to ensure their timely completion. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif mentioned the efforts put in by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to further lower the cost of the project by US 20 million dollars less than the lowest bid made for the project and said this achievement ought to be noted by the Transparency International and lauded by all. He also lauded the Chief Minister and his team for timely completion of the project. He said for the first time in the country''s history democracy is delivering and the civil servants are working hard and serving the nation, which is a good precedent. He said the solar project is not only the largest in the country, but also one of the biggest in the world and would energise the ongoing and future industrial projects across the country. The PM said the project area that some time back had nothing but sand dunes, is now glistening with hundreds and thousands of solar panels that would add electricity to the national grid. He said apart from this project a power generation plant is being set up at Port Qasim, one at Thar Coal, another at Sahiwal, one in Balochistan, besides more units at Azad Kashmir and other places. He said that 3600MW power would be generated through LNG. He said a highway is being built from Kashgar to Karachi including Karachi-Lahore motorway and along with upgradation of Pakistan Railways that would provide fast links for transportation of goods and people. He said a number of other projects are in the pipeline. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said there would be no shortage of electricity and gas in Pakistan and soon the menace of extremism and terrorism would end and lauded the sacrifices of the Pakistan Army of ridding it of this menace. Prime Minister Sharif said his government wanted good ties with Afghanistan and other countries. He said there is a dire need to provide cheap electricity and said his government has lowered the tariffs of electricity by Rs 5.79 and asked the media to also highlight the major price cut. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the project would generate thousands of jobs for the talented and deserving people. He said around 3,000 people had worked on this project while 800 would be employed on a permanent basis. The Prime Minister announced a Rs 20 million reward for the workers for their hard work besides, conferment of Tamgha-i-Khidmat for the deserving officials. The Solar Park, the first-ever grid-connected utility-scale 100MW PV Solar Power Plant will serve as a flagship project to harness solar energy in the country. The ground-breaking of the project was performed by Prime Minister Sharif in May last year. Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power (Pvt.) Limited is a public-sector entity established by the Punjab government, for setting up of renewable energy projects. The Punjab government has provided 10,000 acres for the project situated at Lal Sohanra in Cholistan, Bahawalpur. Acting Governor Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Minister for Water and Power Kh Muhammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong attended the event, along with a number of federal and provincial ministers.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2015

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Steps to overcome energy shortage US extends a helping hand: State Department official

The United States government had made a significant contribution to Pakistan in meeting its energy deficit by enabling the policy framework whereby the LNG terminal bid was structured and evaluated, said US State Department's Special Envoy for Energy Amos Hochstein during a visit to the LNG vessel here at Port Qasim on Saturday. Washington, he said, had thereby built upon the strong and sincere bilateral relations between the two nations. "Engro... had selected a renowned company like Excelerate Energy to provide the FSRU (Floating Storage and Re-Gasification Unit) vessel which was a sign of the US private sector being willing to come forward and accept the challenge of operating in Pakistan's energy sector," he added. FSRU-type M/v Exquisite is docked at Port Qasim after transporting Thursday night the second shipment of at least 148,000 cubic feet Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL), a subsidiary of Engro Corporation. Engro partnered with US's Excelerate Energy to provide the FSRU. The US special envoy lauded Engro's ability to complete the $135 million project on "fast track" basis within the given timeframe of 12 months. A statement issued by General Shipping Agencies (GSA) said a high-level US delegation visited FSRU Exquisite where presentations were given to the visitors by ETPL and Excelerate Energy. Captain Serge Podolski conducted a tour of the vessel. Led by Hochstein, the delegation comprised Andrea Richter, Chief of Staff for the Bureau of Energy Resources, James Schwemlein, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mike Curtis, Energy Office Director, USAID Islamabad, Dr Chad Peterson, Political and Economic Chief US Consulate Karachi. Also in attendance were Dr Miftah Ismail, Chairman SSGC Khalid Rahman, MD SSGC, Hussain Dawood, Chairman, Engro Corporation Ltd, Khalid Mansoor, CEO, HubCo, Muneer Kamal, Chairman Karachi Stock Exchange, Marshall Carpenter, Director, Project Development, Excelerate Energy L.P., Houston, Wael Kamal, General Manager, Excelerate Energy Dubai Business Development, Dubai. Managing Director GSA Mohammed Rajpar, the agents of Excelerate Energy in Pakistan, said the FSRU was a state-of-the-art vessel with storage and re-gasification capabilities supplied by Excelerate to ETPL. The Houston-based firm was a pioneer of such solutions, he added. Marshall Carpenter, in his presentation, highlighted the history, capabilities and global reach of Excelerate and expressed his company's long-term commitment to assist Pakistan develop its LNG capacities in the best possible manner. The outgoing President and CEO of Engro Corporation, Ali Ansari, highlighted the history and diversity of Engro's various subsidiaries and activities. CEO of Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited, Sheikh Imranul Haque, gave a detailed briefing on the project's scope, design, regulatory framework, time lines and finances.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Work on 2,400 megawatts power plant underway at Thar

Work on twenty-four hundred megawatt coal based power plant is underway at Thar Coal Field at a cost of two billion dollars. The project is a joint venture of Sindh Engro Coal Company and the Sindh government and has also been brought under the umbrella of Pak-China economic corridor. The project is expected to become operational by 2017. Official sources informed that exploration of the Thar Coal has been accelerated to meet the national energy requirements. They said if Thar Coal is fully tapped and utilized it will help in overcoming current national energy crisis in the country.

Copyright News Network International, 2015

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