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News Headlines for the month of
JUNE 2015

MPCL to add 10MMCFD gas to SSGC system

Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) is to add 10 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas from Zarghun field into the system of Sui-Southern Gas Company (SSGC). According to sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the company at present is supplying 15 MMCFD of gas from the field which is dedicated to Quetta city and all the arrangements are finalised to add other 10 MMCFD of the gas to Quetta city. Sources said that addition of the gas from the above said field will reduce low gas pressure problem in the provincial metropolis in the winter as in the winter like other parts of the country, Quetta faces serious low gas pressure issues. Being the operator, Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) has been working on the project round the clock and has completed its operations on both wells in Zarghun gas field under very tight security. Situated at the junction of Baloch and Pashtun belts in Balochistan, the field is among the most vulnerable to attacks of Baloch insurgents. The total area of the Bolan JV block is 124.22 sq km and Zarghun Gas Field is located in 56 kilometers away from Provincial Capital of Balochistan, in the Harnai District. The field was discovered by M/s PKP in 1998 with Zarghun South-1. Appraisal well Zarghun South-2 was also drilled/completed in March, 2001. Sources said that the company was spending over 1.2 million per month on the security of gas field of which Rs 10 million is paid to Frontier Corps Balochistan for securing movement of the company staff and averting any insurgents attack on the facility. Moreover, the company has provided 150 local people jobs as security guards, they added. "The total gas reserves in Zarghun field are estimated at 93 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF), of good quality with good pressure and would drastically reduce the increasingly low gas pressure Balochistan faces during winters", they maintained. Processing facility is provided with Separation, Amine Sweeteing, Dehydration, Hydrocarbon Dew Point, Raw & Sales Gas Metering units along with utility operations that comprises Gas Generators, Water Treatment plant and instrument air compressors. They said that (MPCL) has also started oil/gas exploration activities in country's one of the most potential area with oil/gas reservoirs Karak Block by moving two rigs one 2,500 HP (Horse Power) and other 1,500 HP. According to the MPCL officials, the company, pursuing an aggressive exploration strategy has embarked upon drilling of Halini Deep-1 and Kalabagh-1A well with its own 2500HP & 1500HP rigs in search of Hydrocarbons at unprecedented depths of +5,600 meters of Eocene, Paleocene and Cretaceous reservoirs. Karak Block was granted to MPCL on April 14, 2005 over an area of 2335 sq. km. located in Karak, Lakki Marwat and Bannu Districts of KPK and Mianwali District of Punjab Provinces. MPCL holds 60% working interest as an operator, while Hungarian company MOL holds 40% working interest as JV Partner in the block. MOL and state owned Oil and Gas Company Limited (OGDCL) have discovered significant oil and gas reservoirs in the region. The area is producing over 400 MMCFD of gas, over 40,000 barrels per day of oil and has the potential to produce 700 tons of Liquefied Petroleum Gas from the discovered reservoirs, but as yet the LPG extraction plants are not installed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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LNG import will be increased to 600MMCFD in Fiscal Year 2016

The government plans to increase Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports from 400 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) to 600 MMCFD in 2015-16 as per the Annual Plan. To transport the LNG, the Sui-Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) will construct a 42 inch pipeline which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, the document adds. The government has indicated that on the basis of public private investment additional LNG terminals will be constructed. The pricing of the commodity and other related matters including LNG allocation and distribution through existing and new pipelines will be undertaken by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Sui gas companies. Revenue generated through Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) will be spent on gas infrastructure required for imported LNG, Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipelines projects. The government has also indicated that it will commence work on the IP and TAPI pipelines by utilizing the revenue generated through GIDC. The estimated cost of laying the Pakistan segment of the 42 inch diameter IP pipeline is $1.24 billion, which will initially carry 750 MMCFD of natural gas. Under TAPI 3.2 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) of natural gas would be imported from Turkmenistan of which Pakistan and India will receive 1.325 BCFD each while Afghanistan will receive 500 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD). The estimated cost of the 56 inch pipeline project is around $7.6 billion. The TAPI parties have already finalized the Transaction Advisory Services Agreement (TASA), the main task of the TA is to identify and select a world class technically competent and financially capable international company as consortium leader for the project through competitive solicitations. The plan also revealed that in 2014-15 local crude oil production will be 97,590 barrels per day - from 85,000 barrels per day in 2013-14, while the local gas production is like to decline by 300 MMCFD from 4.1 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) to 3.8 BCFD. The annual plan envisaged that local crude oil production will be taken to 40 million barrels per annum level and natural gas production will be taken to 1.5 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) from 1.46 trillion cubic feet. The production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is planned to be 584,000 tons. The oil and gas exploration and production companies will drill a total 126 wells including 61 exploratory and 65 developmental and oil marketing companies will construct 10 new oil storage facilities. Annual Plan envisages a study on shale oil/gas to be completed by the end of 2015, which will give a clear assessment of shale oil/gas resources of the country and consequently enable the government to develop a comprehensive shale oil/gas policy. Sui-Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and SSGCL will provide a total 419,430 new gas connections, both the gas utilities will lay out 7,332 kilometers new transmission and distribution pipelines. Gas theft and recovery bill 2014 is under parliamentary consideration and the passage of the bill will enable the gas utilities to improve the operational efficiency by reducing gas theft. The government will allow Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations to shift to imported LNG so that pressure on local gas can be minimized. Moreover, fertilizer plants are also being persuaded to consider the utilisation of syngas from Thar Coal Gasification.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Country's largest oil refinery unveiled: government committed to sustaining fuel, energy supplies

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said his government is committed to sustaining fuel and energy supplies in the country to ensure accelerated growth in all areas. He was addressing the inauguration of country''s largest oil refinery complex with a crude oil refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day, fulfilling around 39 per cent of country''s energy needs and cutting down reliance on imports. The refinery built by the Byco Group has attracted in an investment of US 750 million and produce about 1.6 million tons of Fuel oil, 2.4 million tons of diesel, 1.1 million tons of LPG annually. The Prime Minister said the refinery is an appreciable addition to the oil and gas sector, and will go a long way in achieving sustainable productivity and increased profitability. He said oil and gas are precious natural resources and added that oil-producing countries boast a strong economy. He said currently, Pakistan requires 22 million tons oil, but the country is still short of capacity to refine crude oil. He said it would take time to achieve complete self-sufficiency. He noted the role of Byco Group in oil refining and said the setting up of the second refinery would help generate employment opportunities and help the country achieve self sufficiency in crude oil refining. He also appreciated the Abraaj Group for their investment in refinery and invited its head Arif Masood Naqvi to visit him in Islamabad and put forward suggestions and areas where they could make more investment. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it is his government''s vision to make Gwadar a free port and assured that necessary legislation would be done soon to accord it the status. He said the Port would be connected through road, rail links to Peshawar and then onwards to Central Asian Republics. He said a beautiful road was being constructed from Gwadar to Chaman, near Quetta, while another option was to link it with Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan, from where it can be connected to the Central Asian Republics. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it would bring about a sea change in national economy, but also boost the economy of Balochistan, generate numerous employment opportunities and provide inter-connectivity with all regions of the country. He reiterated that the operation in Karachi would continue till the elimination of the last terrorist and said peace is vital in the port city for a booming economy. He said those involved in the Safoora attack in Karachi has been nabbed and said no leniency will be shown towards those who kill innocent people. He said the terrorists now understand that they have no more room now to manoeuvre and are being cornered. He said the Zarb-e-Azb operation is going on with success and the hideouts and networks of the terrorists are no more operational. Prime Minister Sharif asked Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to consider giving more concessions to new industries in taxation to woo more foreign investment. Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the increased investment in Balochistan will bring peace. He appreciated the investment of Byco Industries in the country''s oil sector and proposed them to also invest in Balochistan''s development projects including upgradation of schools and provision of electricity. State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources said the project would create around forty to fifty thousand indirect job opportunities for the people of Balochistan. He congratulated the entire team of Byco for contributing to the oil sector of Pakistan by successful completion and commissioning of oil refinery. He said his Ministry was working on enhancing the capacity of energy resources and the crisis of gas shortage would be overcome soon. Chief Executive of Byco Industries Amir Abbasi said the project, completed in six years, enjoys a substantial position in the value addition chain of hydrocarbon from the well-head to the consumer. He said Byco has so far invested US $750 million into country''s infrastructural and industrial development. Arif Masood Naqvi, CEO of Abraaj Capital Limited said the Middle East''s premier private equity fund would like to make more investments in Pakistan in various areas. With new refinery, Pakistan has joined the club of countries with Single Point Mooring (SPM) facilities in the deep sea to transport crude oil through a pipeline to refineries set up along the coast. Byco Terminals Pakistan Limited (BTPL) has set up its terminals in Keemari and Mahmoodkot and has acquired land at Shikarpur and Machike for terminal installation. The SPM has been set up in the North Arabian Sea at a distance of approximately 14 kilometers from the Byco''s Mouza Kund Site located at Hub, and is 10 km inside the sea at 2.5 metres deep.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Pakistani retailer wins Shell award

A Pakistani retailer won in Paris the prestigious Global Retailer of the Year Award in a Royal Dutch Shell ceremony for the first time. Shell globally has Retail operations in over 80 countries serving 25 million customers every day at 45,000 retail stations. With competition from retailers all across the world, for the first time, Shell Pakistan's retailer Mohammad Toqeer Shahid recently won the award. The competition revolves around customer service and business growth elements. Top Shell retailers from around the globe take part in this competition and are recognized at an annual reward and recognition ceremony.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Agreement on LNG likely by mid-July

Pakistan and Qatargas are likely to strike a final deal on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by mid July 2015 as the negotiating parties have completed all the necessary work for finalizing the agreement, it is learnt. Sources toldBusiness Recorder here on Monday that the final agreement is likely to be signed within the next two weeks as Pakistan has completed all the required infrastructure development and other requirements. According to sources privy to the developments Qatar and Pakistan in recent held meetings resolved all the hurdles in finalizing the LNG Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA). On a question sources maintained Pakistan State Oil's (PSO) legal team is associated with the negotiating team of LNG, adding that the deal will have all those provisions critical to addressing any dispute between the parties. Asked if in future LNG prices in the open market are significantly increasing/reducing what options Pakistan would opt to take the benefit or avert losses of the higher/lower prices the official said that a final contract will address all these issues. He further added that Pakistan is going to strike a deal of importing 400 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of the commodity, while it has plans to take it up to 2 Billion Cubic Feet per Day Mark (BCFD) by 2017. Port Qasim Authority has completed channel depth work as per requirements of LNG ships, which was a serious obstacle in the past as the depth in some parts was around 13 meters against the required depth of 14 meters. Qatar has assured Pakistan of supplying sustainable LNG for 15 years at 13.5 percent of Brent, and Pakistan wants to purchase the commodity on long-term as well as medium-term and spot purchase. Based on the current international crude oil price of $65 per barrel the LNG will cost Pakistan $8.10 per MMBTU. The first cargo of LNG arrived at Port Qasim on March 26, 2015 which was transported by the Floating Storage And Regasification Unit (FSRU) instead of a normal LNG carrier; the sixth cargo is scheduled to arrive in Karachi today (Tuesday). The FSRU, which has been hired by LNG terminal operator Engro Elengy Terminal Limited (EPTL), is transporting 3,000 million cubic feet of LNG. "We are utilising FSRU because Qatargas was not ready to send normal carriers to Pakistan on the plea that channel depth was not as per requirements. As per agreement with Engro Pakistan will have to pay $272,000 per day to the EPTL if it fails in bringing the commodity so as to avert the penalty we used FSRU and saved $25 millions," an official of the Inter State Gas System said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Five solar energy projects initiated in Sindh

Five solar energy projects with capacity of 20 megawatts of electricity each have been initiated in Sindh. Official sources told Radio Pakistan that the projects have been launched in Thatta, Benazirabad, Sukkur, Jamshoro and Larkana districts. The sources further said that over sixteen billion rupees have been earmarked for energy projects in the next budget of the province.

Copyright Independent News Pakistan, 2015

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Bahawalpur Solar Park project to start production this year: CM

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government is taking speedy measures for resolving energy crisis and besides traditional methods, alternative methods are also being given due attention for overcoming energy crisis. He said that Chinese company has started work on solar project in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and solar project of 300 megawatt will start producing electricity by the end of current year. The Chief Minister expressed these views while presiding over a high level meeting to review progress on transport, infrastructure and energy projects in the province. During the meeting, detailed briefing was given regarding progress on ongoing transport, infrastructure and energy projects in the province. Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that besides energy projects, government is also paying special attention to improvement of transport and infrastructure. He said that metro bus projects have introduced a new culture in transport sector and after the splendid success of Lahore metro bus project, Pakistan Metro Bus Service in the twin cities has also proved very successful and about 105,000 citizens are daily benefiting from economical, modern, speedy and comfortable travelling facility through Pakistan Metro Bus Service. He said that Punjab government has also started work on metro bus project in Multan and this project will also be a masterpiece of standard and transparency like metro bus projects of Lahore and Rawalpindi. He said that orange line metro train project has been evolved in Lahore which will be a revolutionary project in transport sector. He said that economical, speedy and modern travelling facility will become available to citizen through this modern project and metro train project will prove to be a milestone in the history of the country. He said that Punjab government through successful negotiations with companies in different projects has voluntarily saved national resources of billions of rupees and there is no other example of saving of billions of rupees of the nation in the history of the country. He said that transparency, standard and speedy completion of projects is the hallmark of PML-N government and therefore, all projects are being completed speedily while a high standard is also being maintained. Provincial Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Tanvir Aslam Malik, Members National Assembly Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Perviaz Malik, Rohail Asghar, Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan, Members Provincial Assembly, Chief Secretary and concerned authorities attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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300 megawatts solar project: Punjab government, Chinese company sign agreement

An agreement of 300 megawatt solar project was signed between Punjab government and a Chinese company under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at a ceremony presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here on Friday. According to the agreement, Chinese company Zonergy will complete 300 megawatt project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur under China-Pakistan Corridor by December 25, 2015. The 50 megawatt solar project will start producing electricity by August 14, 2015 while 600 megawatt solar project will provide electricity by the end of 2016. Agreements of energy purchase and implementation were also signed between the Chinese companies and the Federal government. Talking to media Shahbaz Sharif said that under China Economic Corridor, detailed documents of the agreement of first project have been signed and these are the great beginnings of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said this is the beginning point of the long journey of development and prosperity. The dream is materialising due to the untiring efforts of Chinese President, Prime Minister, people, Chinese Ambassador and Consul General in Pakistan and all concerned departments. He said under CPEC, 33 billion dollars have been allocated only for energy projects. Today's agreement is the first drop of the rain and under CPEC, Chinese investment of 140 billion rupees will be made in 900 megawatt solar project. He said the contract of solar project was given to Zonergy by Chinese government and there is 100 percent Chinese investment in this 900 megawatt solar project. He said that only two months after Chinese President's visit, work has been started on first agreement under CPEC. He said that the first solar project of 50 megawatt will start producing electricity on Independence Day. He said that 100 megawatt solar project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is providing electricity to national grid. He said that a total of 1000 megawatt solar projects will be set up at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park and this will be the biggest solar park of the region. The Chief Minister said that work is continuing speedily on 1320 megawatt coal-based energy project in Sahiwal and this project will be completed by 2017. He said that the new era of development and prosperity will be ushered in the country through implementation on CPEC and he is thankful to Chinese President and people. Shahbaz Sharif said that the Chinese investment has done a great favour to Pakistan and now the ball is in our court. These projects will be completed through hard work, honesty and trust. He said that agriculture will progress, factories will run and thousands of job opportunities will be created. The Chinese leadership has expressed everlasting love for Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and 18o million people of Pakistan. Replying to a question Shahbaz Sharif said it will be highly unjust to do politics on deaths in Karachi, there should be no politics on these deaths at any cost rather we should express sympathies with those who lost their dear and near ones. Shahbaz Sharif told that Karachi Electric Supply Corporation was getting 650 megawatt electricity from PEPCO since the tenure of Zardari. It was decided twice in Council of Common Interests that 350 megawatt of electricity of KESC should be reduced and only 300 megawatt be given but this decision was not implemented.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Neelum Jhelum project: Wapda ready to enter into PPP

A cash hungry Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has reportedly expressed willingness to enter into Private Public Partnership (PPP) with Chinese companies to complete the much delayed 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project instead of privatising the project, well informed sources told Business Recorder. At a recent meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his displeasure over undue delay in the execution of the project which has resulted in cost escalation. The meeting decided to form a committee to look into the possibility of privatising the project or entering into partnership with some investor to ensure its timely completion. The committee would be tasked to present its report within three months. It was also decided that the project must be completed by the first quarter of 2017. Two Chinese companies have already expressed interest in getting some share in the project on PPP basis as they know that the project has not achieved financial close. A committee has been constituted which will decide the mechanism which would successfully complete the project as early as possible. The possibility of PPP is not only alive but it will be pursued actively. Sources said that no tangible progress has been seen so far on this issue, adding that real picture will emerge after the constitution of ministerial committee. Neelum Jhelum project should not be given to the Privatisation Commission because under the Privatisation Law, privatisation proceeds can be used only on debt retirement (budgetary support) and poverty alleviation, sources said. The concept of Neelum Jehlum was floated in late 80s with the objective of establishing water rights so that India could not disrupt water flows. At that time India was still planning to build a run of the river project to be called Kishan Ganga Hydroelectric Project. Initially work started on a limited project which was later on expanded. However, after the earthquake of 2005 entire classification of the project was changed. Formally, the project was initiated in 2008. The Government of Pakistan (GoP) has extended a Rs 20 billion loan to Wapda for the project in addition to Rs 30 billion from Neelum Jehlum surcharge imposed on power consumers. Wapda is facing a huge financial gap and when Wapda goes for financing the lenders demand sovereign guarantee but the government cannot give sovereign guarantee over and above a project''s financial worth and it has also to follow the agreements with the IMF and the World Bank. Most of the hydropower projects are delayed due to slow release of funds. The government had earmarked Rs 63.613 billion for Wapda (power) in 2014-15 but released only Rs 49.253 billion. However, allocation for 2015-16 has been increased to Rs 112.288 billion for 2015-16 but it is still unclear whether the entire amount will be released during the specified time. Wapda''s debt equity ratio has changed dramatically for FY 2015-16 from the previous year''s to 81:19 from 45:55.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Punjab government investing Rs 258 billion in power projects

"The Punjab government is investing Rs 258 billion on different power projects. Energy is one of the most critical sectors of the economy and the government has accorded it the highest priority. A number of coal based power plants are under construction. Pakistan's first solar power plant has already been inaugurated in Cholistan, which has started generating 100MW electricity. The Solar Park at Cholistan is now being developed to get additional 900MW electricity. All these projects will be completed by the end of 2017 and will generate additional 2600MW of electricity. Private sector is also being encouraged to invest in power generation," sources said. It may be noted that the Punjab government is starting 1200MW gas based power plant at Bhikki, Sheikhupura. The project will cost approximately Rs 110 billion. The project will start generating electricity initially in March 2017 while it will operate on full capacity by the end of 2017. An amount of Rs 15 billion has been earmarked for this project during FY 2015-16. Official sources claim that the Punjab Growth Strategy (2015-18) focuses on energy sector. The Punjab government has decided to play a pro-active role in the energy sector. One of the biggest solar power project Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park has been set up in Bahawalpur last year with a capacity to generate 1000MW of electricity. During the year, Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (Phase-I) was completed. Besides, steps have been taken to build capacity of the department to attract private sector investment in the sector. During 2015-16, the sources claim that an allocation of Rs 31 billion has been made to the energy sector including allocation of Rs 15 billion for RLNG based power plant at Bhikki District Sheikhupura. Following new initiatives and targets have been planned for FY 2015-16: Completion of Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Programme (hydro power generation project at Marala, Pakpattan, Chianwali, & Degout fall) for adding 20MW Energy to the National Grid; commencement of Coal Fired Power Projects in public and private sector (Lahore and Faisalabad Sites) (Sahiwal, Multan, Sheikhupura, R Y Khan, Muzaffargarh); under taking 900MW solar power projects by private sector in the Q A Solar Park Cholistan; commencement of LNG projects for 1200-1500MW at Bhakki Sharif Sheikhupura; feasibility study on Wind Power Project; commencement of Bio Mass Power Project at Faisalabad; and commencement of Energy Efficient Building in Lahore. The Punjab Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Babar Hussain said the initial work has been kicked off on the two coal run power projects at Rahim Yar Khan and Muzaffargarh with total generation capacity of 1,320 megawatts. He said that work has also been initiated on the coal run project at Sahiwal, which will be completed at a cost of Rs 180 billion. He added that work on 900 megawatts solar energy-run power project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur has also begun, which will be completed next year at a cost of Rs 135 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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KP to complete two hydel projects this month

Two hydel power projects including 2.6 megawatt Machai (Mardan) and 17 megawatt Ranolia (Kohistan) will complete by the end of the current financial year, said the White Paper of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa budget for financial year 2015-16. The Energy and Power Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through its attached wing Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) is operating four hydropower stations in Malakand, Swabi and Chitral that are generating 105 megawatts of electricity. Besides, power generation revenue of Rs 2.5 billion is also generated for the province through these power stations. The department is working on conducting feasibility studies and construction of additional hydropower stations to increase power generation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. PEDO has conducted the pre-feasibility studies of 10 raw sites and these sites have been advertised for award to private sector. Under Action Plan 2012-22, the organisation has started work on six hydel projects with installed capacity of 252 MW, ie 84 MW Gorkin Matiltan (Swat), 36 MW Daral Khwar (Swat), 41 MW Koto (Lower Dir), 11.8MW Karora (Shangla), 10.2 MW Jabori (Mansehra), 69 MW Lawi (Chitral). Tendering phase of execution process is underway for 3 sites out of the six, ie 10.2 MW Jabori (Mansehra), 11.8 MW Karora (Shangla), 40.8 MW Koto (Lower Dir. The paper said that various investment proposals are under consideration of provincial government for three projects with cumulative capacity of 426 MW, approved by ECNEC on December 31, 2013, on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode which include 150 MW Sharmai (Dir), 144 MW Shusghai-Zhendoli (Chitral) and 132 MW Shogo Sin (Chitral). Similarly, feasibility studies of the fifteen (15) hydro power projects have been completed and execution of 356 mini/micro hydel projects of 10kW-500kW capacity each has been started in Malakand and Hazara Divisions with 20% cost contribution by the community. The feasibility studies of 141 sites have been completed and construction work on 41 projects started. Out of which 20 projects will be completed by the end of July 2015. Furthermore, in order to harness alternative energy resources for power generation work on solar energy projects has been started. Under this project 20 villages with a total of 5670 houses will be electrified through solar standalone home system in Central, Southern and Northern Districts of the province. Under the plan, each household will be provided with two solar panel, two 100 Ampere batteries, two fans, three LED Lights and one mobile charger. To promote industries and economic growth, the provincial government has decided to divert power from Pehur Hydel Power Station to Gadoon Industrial Estate, and to establish industrial estate near generation units to provide cheap energy to the industries. In this regard, a consultancy was awarded to look into all available options. The consultancy report has been received and action is underway.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Shahbaz, German envoy discuss projects of gas power plants

President and senior officials of a renowned international energy company led by German Ambassador Dr Cyrill Nunn met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in which co-operation with regard to energy sector particularly projects of gas power plants in Punjab was discussed. Talking to the delegation, Shahbaz Sharif said the best trade and friendly relations existed between Pakistan and Germany. He said Germany was an important trade partner of Pakistan, adding that trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Germany had improved in recent years and friendship contacts between both the countries are further strengthening. Referring to the energy crisis in Pakistan, the Chief Minister said the government was taking steps expeditiously for coping with energy crisis being faced by the country. He said energy projects were being executed with traditional as well as renewable sources for overcoming energy crisis. Shahbaz Sharif said that a huge amount of 33 billion dollars was for energy projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor and work had been started on energy projects under CPEC. The Chief Minister while mentioning 100 megawatt solar project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur said that Punjab government had completed biggest and first Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park of Pakistan in a record period at Bahawalpur, South Punjab and the production of electricity had been started from this 100 megawatt solar project set up by Punjab government whereas the work on 900 megawatt project was continuing speedily with the co-operation of China. With regard to gas-based energy projects, Shahbaz Sharif said that a programme of generating 3,600 megawatt electricity through gas had been evolved in Punjab. He said Punjab government would set up projects of 1,200 megawatts while federal government of 2,400 megawatts through gas and all preliminary preparations had been completed in that regard. He said Germany had special expertise in setting up projects of electricity through gas and solar and German technology was an admitted fact in that regard. The Chief Minister said that 3,600 megawatt gas-based electricity projects would start production by 2017. He said all energy projects were being completed speedily and in a highly transparent manner and those projects would start generating electricity by the end of 2017. Speaking on the occasion, members of the German delegation have expressed their willingness for working with Punjab in energy sector. They said Shahbaz Sharif and his entire team were working with devotion and commitment and they would extend all possible co-operation to Punjab government in energy sector. The delegation included President International Energy Company Achim Kawert, Guenter Zwicki and other senior officials. Provincial Minister for Minerals Sher Ali Khan, Chairman Punjab Power Development Company Chaudhry Arif Saeed, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Secretaries Energy, Agriculture, Minerals and concerned officials were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Coal-based power: 1400 megawatts project approved by PPIB

Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Tuesday approved Thar coal-based power generation project of 1400 MW (350 MW each) to be set up at Thar by Shanghai Electric Group Company of China. This is the second Thar coal-based IPP approved by the PPIB Board - the first was the 660 MW Engro Power Project which was abandoned after Gaddani Power Park was put on ice. This is one of the ''prioritised projects'' included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and is scheduled to start generation in 2017-18. The approval was granted in the 101st Board meeting of PPIB held with Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif in the chair. The Board also approved the signing of an MoU between PPIB, China Three Gorges Corporation and Silk Road Fund China for development of private hydropower projects in Pakistan. Silk Road Fund is a development fund newly created by Government of China, with its main focus on infrastructure and energy development as well as industrial and road initiatives; whereas China Three Gorges is already developing three hydropower projects in Pakistan, namely 720 MW Karot, 1100 MW Kohala and 590 MW Mahl on Jhelum River and has indicated an interest in undertaking more power projects. To facilitate the power projects initiated by provinces/AJ&K /Gilgit-Baltistan, the Board also approved standardised Tri-Partite Letter of Support. The Board granted approval for issuance of LoS to a 150MW coal-based power project at Arifwala, 1200MW coal-fired projects at Sahiwal, 1320 MW imported coal-fired projects at Port Qasim and 1320MW imported coal fired projects at Hub, Balochistan. Progress in relation to ongoing private power projects also came under discussion in the meeting in context to the overall electricity situation in the country. The Managing Director PPIB briefed the Board on coal- and hydel-based private power generation projects being handled by PPIB, particularly the projects being processed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The Minister directed PPIB to facilitate the investors and ensure timely completion of the ongoing projects. He stated that the progress of all projects, both new and ongoing, should be reviewed regularly so that they may not face any difficulty. Sources in Water and Power Ministry told Business Recorder that PPIB is giving extension again and again to some hydel and coal power projects despite the fact that they are not showing required progress. The meeting was attended by Mohammad Younus Dagha, Secretary Water & Power, Zafar Mahmood, Chairman WAPDA, Shah Jahan Mirza, Managing Director PPIB, representatives of Ministry of Finance, Planning Division, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and AJ&K, members from Gligit-Baltistan and FATA, a private sector member, besides Senior Executive Director, Executives Director and Directors of PPIB and other senior government officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Rs 31 billion allocated to energy sector

The Punjab government has earmarked Rs 31 billion to the energy sector, including Rs 15 billion for the RLNG-based power plant in Bhikki District in Sheikhupura. Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said the growth strategy devised by the Punjab government had focused on the energy sector. "Following the strategy, the government has decided to play a pro-active role in the energy sector ahead. It has set up the Quaid-e-Azam solar park, one of the biggest solar power projects, in Bahawalpur last year with a capacity to generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity. The phase-I of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park has been completed. Besides, more steps have been taken to build capacity of the energy department to attract private sector investment in the sector," she added. She added, "Under the new initiatives and targets planned for FY 2015-16 included the completion of renewable energy development sector investment programme (hydro power generation project in Marala, Pakpattan, Chianwali, and Degout fall) for adding 20 megawatts of energy to the national grid. The government has planned to start coal-fired power projects in the public and private sector. It will undertake 900-megawatt solar power projects by the private sector in the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Cholistan. "Beginning of LNG projects for 1200-1500 megawatt at Bhakki Sharif Sheikhupura, feasibility study on wind power project, start of bio mass power project at Faisalabad, shifting of the Planning and Development department on solar and beginning of energy efficient building in Lahore are a few more steps taken in the provincial budget. The energy is one of the most critical sectors of the economy and accordingly the government has accorded it the highest priority. The Punjab government is investing Rs 258 billion in different power projects while attracting Chinese investments of Rs 360 billion in his area. A number of coal-based power plants are under construction. Pakistan''''s first solar power plant has been inaugurated in Cholistan, which has started generating 100 megawatt electricity. The Solar Park in Cholistan is now being developed to get additional 900 megawatt electricity. All these projects will be completed by the end of 2017 and will generate additional 2,600 megawatts of electricity." She also encouraged the private sector to invest in power generation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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''Thar coal will be used for power generation''

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that the Thar coal would be used for power generation. The coal for some power plants would be imported for short time till Thar fields started production at commercial level, he added. "Today, I want to give Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah a good news. We will use Thar coal in coal-fired power plants in the country," he said addressing the chief minister, who was also present at FPCCI''s 38th Exports Awards distribution ceremony here. Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, Federal Commerce Minister Engr Khurram Dastagir Khan, Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal and Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment Dr Miftah Ismail, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Mian Muhammad Adrees, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Chief Executive Officer S M Muneer, United Business Group (UBG) Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik, Senior Vice President FPCCI Abdul Rahim Janoo, FPCCI vice presidents, former vice president, In-Charge WTO Cell at FPCCI Engr. M.A. Jabbar and a large number of business leaders were present. The Prime Minister assured the business community that his government wanted maximum participation of the private sector in economic and development activities. The government, he said, had always made consultations with the business community before taking any decision regarding the economy. In response to a demand of the FPCCI President, the Prime Minister announced the formation of Business Advisory Council under his chairmanship. "We will form the business development council, which will be chaired by me. This will be a very good platform for regular interaction between the government and the business community. This interaction should be at least once in every three months." The council, he added, would help promote industrialisation and trade in the country. Nawaz Sharif also supported the FPCCI''s demand that import of new plants and machinery be zero-rated to accelerate industrialisation in the prosperity. "This will create more employment opportunities, essential for peace and security in the country." "We should encourage installation of new plants and machinery. More industrialisation will be only when import of plants and machinery is facilitated and exempted from the duty," he said. "We will seriously consider this demand."

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2015

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Pakistan to go beyond CASA 1000: Nawaz

The leaders of Pakistan and Tajikistan Wednesday vowed early completion of the CASA 1000 project, enabling the former to import 1,000 MW of electricity to address its growing energy needs. Addressing a press stakeout along with President Emomali Rahmon during his two-day visit to Tajikistan, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan would also explore further avenues of energy co-operation with the Central Asian Republic. He said he held wide-ranging consultations with the Tajik leaders, covering the whole spectrum of bilateral relations, and regional and international issues of mutual concern. "We reviewed our excellent political relations and agreed that there is a vast potential for expansion of co-operation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, education, science, culture, energy, transport, defence and security." The Prime Minister said that the two countries decided that the Joint Commission on Energy and Infrastructure, established in June 2014, would meet twice a year to explore the possibilities of mutually beneficial co-operation in the fields of energy and infrastructure. "We agreed on enhancing connectivity by air, road and rail for the promotion of our economic relations, people-to-people contacts and tourism. We have concurred with the proposal by a Tajik airline to fly to Pakistan and hope the operation will start soon." The Prime Minister said that the two sides also agreed to strengthen economic co-operation by optimally utilising the existing institutional mechanisms, especially through the Pakistan-Tajikistan Joint Ministerial Commission. "Our bilateral trade has grown significantly in recent years. Through mutual efforts, it can be sustained and increased further." He said his visit was a manifestation of Pakistan''s strong desire to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations with Tajikistan, as an integral part of its vision to comprehensively enhance engagement with Central Asia. He said that Tajikistan is Pakistan''s closest neighbour in Central Asia, located at the confluence of South and Central Asia, and is a gateway to the region. He said similarly Pakistan offered the shortest possible route to the sea to countries in the region through its ports. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that it was important for Pakistan''s socio-economic development to eliminate the scourge of international terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and other threats to regional and global security. "We have once again resolved to collectively fight against these evils," he said. He said that both Pakistan and Tajikistan are co-operating closely at the UN, NAM, G-77, OIC, ECO and SCO. "We reiterated our mutual desire to deepen this co-operation. We agreed to work closely on the important issue of reform of the UN Security Council." He congratulated the Government of Tajikistan for the successful holding of an important high-level Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action "Water for life" 2005-2015. "We highly appreciate the very warm welcome and traditional Tajik hospitality extended to me and members of my delegation," he said and added that his visit was a continuation of Pakistan''s policy of frequent exchanges at the highest level. "It is a reflection of the strong fraternal ties between the peoples of Pakistan and Tajikistan, which have been nourished by centuries-old historical and cultural linkages and linguistic affinities." He said the parliaments of the two countries were interacting closely and reinforcing the efforts of the two governments for closer ties. "Parliamentary exchanges take close friendship to the grassroots level, as these represent the will of the people." He said his visit to Dushanbe had provided an opportunity to once again reflect on common goals of progress and prosperity and the development of infrastructure for regional integration. "We noted with satisfaction that our bilateral relations are steadily growing," the Prime Minister said and added, "Our forward-looking vision aims at further elevating the Pakistan-Tajikistan strategic relationship, to newer heights." The Prime Minister expressed profound gratitude to President Rahmon, and the Government and people of Tajikistan, for the very warm welcome and generous hospitality. "My brother President Rahmon has graciously accepted my invitation to visit Pakistan. The people of Pakistan are looking forward to welcoming His Excellency at his earliest convenience," he said. The Prime Minister concluded his remarks by the slogan "Pakistan-Tajikistan Dosti Ta Abad Zindabad" (Long-live Pakistan-Tajikistan friendship).

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2015

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'Green house gas emission is only 0.7 percent in Pakistan'

President Pakistan Engineering Congress (PEC) engineer Iftikhar Ahmad said that Pakistan is under pressure due the effect of Green House Gas Emissions although green house gas emission in Pakistan is only 0.7 percent. He was addressing the seminar on World Environment Day on the theme of seven billion dreams. One planet consume with care" organized by Pakistan Engineering Congress here on Saturday. President Pakistan Engineering Council engineer Syed Abdul Qadir Shah. Iftikhar said that abnormal increase in green house emissions has created an alarming situation in the world. The largest pollutants in the world are China (22.7 percent), America (15.6 percent), India (5.7 percent) and Russia (5.40 percent). Due to green house emissions the temperature has increased 3-4 degree centigrade above pre-industrial area. The effect of green house emissions is melting of glaciers, untimely rains, floods and droughts. In the seminar speakers presented their papers on the major issues like energy, consumption of water, temperature variations, population, growth, food security and other environmental factors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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KP hydel projects to generate 55MW by December: Khattak

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that the provincial government is focusing on hydel power generation, developing viable alternative energy resources, establishment of oil refinery through public-private partnership (PPP) and developing community driven micro hydel projects and energy conservation programmes to overcome power loadshedding and usher economic development in the province. Several hydel power projects are in progress and will generate 55-megawatt electricity till December, 2015, 61 megawatt till December, 2018 and 153 megawatt will be generated till December, 2019. Under the initiative, Machai Hydel Power Project with production capacity of 17MW megawatt Mardan will completed by the end of the next month, 36 megawatt Daral Khwar by end of December 2015 while technical and financial bids for 69 megawatt Lawi (Chitral) and 84 megawatt Matiltan (Swat) are in progress. The technical bids for both projects were opened in February 2015 while financial bids by end of April 2015. Similarly, three hydel projects including 31 megawatt Koto (Dir Lower), Jabori 7 megawatt Mansehra and Karora 10 megawatt Shangla have been approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract awarded and is now ready for inauguration and will complete by June, 2018. Management consultant for these projects had been selected while selection for EPC contractor is in process. Financial advisors are being hired to get finances for Sharmai Dir-150MW, Shushai-Zhendoli (Chitral)-144MW and Shogosin Chitral-132MW projects. The provincial government has also initiated 356 micro hydel power projects in 12 districts at union council and village level. These projects will be run through community. Out of the total 356 projects, 207 projects up to 50KW will be completed by the end of September, 2015, 87 projects up to 150KW will be completed by December, 2015, 31 projects upto 250 KW will completed by September, 2016 and 31 more will be completed by December, 2016.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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Progress of Sahiwal coal power project reviewed

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high-level meeting, here on Saturday, which reviewed the progress of Sahiwal coal power project. Head of Sahiwal Coal Power Project Song Taiji gave a briefing about the project. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that promotion of industrial, trade and economic activities is essential for early controlling of energy crisis in the country. He said the government is utilizing all out resources for overcoming shortage of electricity. He said that work on energy projects is being carried out speedily. Shahbaz Sharif said, "Work is continuing on generation of energy through coal, hydel, wind, solar, gas and other alternate sources. He said that initial design of Sahiwal coal power project has been prepared and an agreement made with the Railways for transportation of coal from Karachi". He said that two coal power projects of 660MW each are being set up in Sahiwal and a total of 1320MW electricity will be generated from this project. The chief minister said that the project would be implemented transparently by ensuring high quality and speed. He said that this project of national importance will be completed in 2017.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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$10 billion will be spent on energy projects in Sindh: Shahbaz

Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Shairf has said that China is the time-tested friend of Pakistan and she has given $43 billion economic package to us out of which $33 billion will be spent on energy projects in the country and $10 billion on projects in Sindh including Thar coal project in the province of Sindh alone. Talking to journalists at Punjab House during his visit to the metropolis, after meetings with Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at Governor and CM House respectively and meeting with his party leaders, he said that the country was facing challenges of terrorism and energy. He said that political leadership and law enforcement agencies were on the same page against the menace of terrorism and extremism. Shahbaz said for bringing about changes in the fields of education, health, justice, and unemployment rapid improvement have to be made. He said that against all these challenges all the four provinces had to work collectively. The country will develop and prosper with joint efforts only.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2015

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$46 billion Chinese package: $33 billion to be spent on energy projects: Shahbaz

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif Monday said that $33 billion of the $46 billion Chinese package would be spent on power projects to overcome power shortage/loadshedding in the country. "Gaddani power project is not being shelved, but we were unable to complete it by the set target of 2017-18," said Shahbaz Sharif while briefing media persons on Metro Bus project, which according to him is 95 percent complete and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will inaugurate it in the next few days. The metro bus project is being completed with a total cost of Rs 44.8 billion, of which Rs 3 billion was taken by the federal government for Peshawar Mor Interchange and the remaining Rs 41.84 billion was spent on 50:50 cost sharing basis between federal government and Punjab government. The Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project would have been completed six months ago but sit-ins delayed the project, said Sharif adding that it is the project of Pakistan and not only Punjab province. The Chief Minister said metro bus service would provide better transportation and economic travelling to the citizens of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. This is a unique project of its kind meant to facilitate the masses and completed in a record time with complete transparency. He said the government will continue to work for the welfare of the masses in all circumstances. He said that 24 bus stations have been constructed along the 23 kilometers long route. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for passengers, buses and the infrastructure. He said many projects of energy are underway to overcome the shortage of energy and it is on the top of the government priority. He said that 100 MW solar power plant has been made operational in Bahawalpur while 350 MW gas based power project would be installed. He further said that transport projects should be subsidised. Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, parliamentarians and the PML-N Rawalpindi leadership travelled in metro buses from the Secretariat Station Islamabad as the final test drive before the formal launch of the project. Earlier, briefing the media persons the concerned officials said the project is based on a "pre-feasibility study on Bus Rapid Transit Project in Islamabad" conducted in November, 2012 under Asian Development Bank funding and the feasibility study "Mass Transit System in Rawalpindi & Islamabad 2014" conducted by consultant M/S NESPAK. The federal government under Article 146(1) of the Constitution authorised government of Punjab for execution of Islamabad part of the project as well since government of Punjab has the experience of executing Lahore Metro Bus Project. The total length of the metro bus corridor is approx 23 Km (8.6 Km elevated 10 Km at grade & 4 Km trench), signal free & dedicated corridor. The project includes 2 flyovers, 14 pedestrian underpasses and 13 vehicular underpasses to make it signal free, 24 Central Stations along the corridor (10 in Rawalpindi & 14 in Islamabad), provision of 83 Escalators, 83 Elevators for special persons & 432 Automatic Platform Screen Doors, 68 articulated AC buses to be operated by Private Operator M/s Albayrak selected though International Competitive Bidding, estimated Ridership 135,000 passengers per day, state of the art Bus Depot located near Peshawar Mor over an area of 16.5 acres to accommodate 100 Metro Buses, bus depot has all modern facilities like admin block, drivers' rest area, washing area, maintenance area, fuel station, cafeteria and mosque. A state-of-the-art Command & Control Centre at the starting point of Metro Bus corridor near Flashman Hotel is also under construction which has three floors for car parking for persons commuting on metro bus. To uplift the MBS corridor through Landscaping & Horticulture and to bring the area around the corridor into its original condition and for its further uplifting, an amount of Rs 324 million has been spent. The project has been completed within the approved cost and no increase in cost has been allowed. All civil contracts and contracts for procurement of equipments have been processed as per the provisions of PPRA and all principles of transparency have been followed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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