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News Headlines for the month of
MARCH 2016

KUWAIT TO DEVELOP PAKISTAN OIL FIELDS

State-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said on Sunday that its international arm has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop oil fields in Pakistan. The signing by Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) took place in Kuwait during a visit by oil minister Shahid Abbasi to the Gulf Arab state, KPC said in a statement.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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IRAN EXPRESSES INTENTION TO PROVIDE 3,000 MEGAWATTS OF ELECTRICITY

Iran has expressed its intention to provide 3,000 megawatts of electricity to tackle the persistent power outages. The transmission infrastructure development can cost US $1.5 billion. The Iranian high-ups made this offer to a 26-member delegation from Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, sources told Business Recorder on Monday. The delegation held business to business meetings with Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad Chambers of Commerce and Industry during its recent visit of Iran. Sources further claimed that the President, Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani who is scheduled to visit Pakistan on March 25th is likely to offer electricity besides endorsing some of the recommendations compiled during the meetings in Iran. The delegation was also told that the Iranian leadership wants to enhance trade with Pakistan up to US $10 billion and his country's businessmen were gearing up to reach this target but demanded some steps too from Pakistan. During the meetings, it emerged that Iran was reportedly in need of Pakistani textile products and Iranians expect Pakistan to quickly send its textile delegation of leading companies. It also came into notice that Iran is in need of textile products including t-shirts, denim jeans and home textiles. The Iranian businessmen want Pakistan to immediately send its textile delegation comprising the leading companies. Besides, Iran has sufficient demand for meat that could be exported from Pakistan. However, Pakistani companies need to enhance their capacity of meat processing facilities to meet the demand. The talk of more flights between Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad and Isfahan too came under discussion and resolved that business communities of both countries should help their airlines. The air links will also help increase trade in perishable items like fruits, vegetables and meat, the sources added. The Iranians highlighted a number of steps needed to be done by the Pakistani government including completing gas pipeline project on priority basis. More steps were also discussed to enhance the trade including direct shipping between Iran and Pakistan, banking channels to overcome smuggling being faced by both countries. The meeting also stressed the need for improving rail link between Pakistan and Iran besides developing road between the two sides. It is notable that three banks from Pakistan including the Bank of Punjab, Bank Alfalah and Meezan Bank are actively pursuing correspondent relationship with the Iranian authorities. It was also resolved that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) already signed several years ago between the two countries needs to be activated. Need was also stressed to develop special economic zones on Pakistan-Iran borders to enhance two way trade. The delegation recommended for sending a high level delegation of government officials and trade bodies, besides taking part in Iranian exhibitions to display products. The delegation also recommends setting up of a secretariat for Pak-Iran Joint Commission to implement decisions. During the visit, the delegation head, Almas Hyder offered scholarships on behalf of the Punjab government to Iranian students in engineering and medical disciplines as good gesture.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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NEW POWER PROJECTS TO HELP ELIMINATE LOAD-SHEDDING MENACE: ABID

Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has said that the government has launched several power projects which on completion will help to eliminate load-shedding. Talking to Pakistan Television (PTV), the minister said electricity generation would be increased to 18,000 megawatt by the end of this yea. He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, top priority was being given to the power sector to end darkness from the country as per the manifesto of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Abid Sher Ali said Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams' projects were in pipeline as 70 per cent land for the former had been acquired. He said new transmission lines were also being installed, besides up-grading the existing system to reduce line losses. He said work on 4th and 5th extensions of Tarbela were also underway to increase electricity generation from the project. The minister said load-shedding had been restricted to six hours in urban areas and eight hours in rural areas as a result of solid efforts made by the government.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2016

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BRAZIL CAN HELP OVERCOME ENERGY CRISIS: AMBASSADOR

Brazil's Ambassador to Pakistan Claudio Raja Gabaglia Lins Monday said his country could provide assistance in renewable energy sector, especially in wind power, solar and coal to resolve the issue of energy crisis. He was talking to Acting President of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Saqib Rafique during his visit to the chamber on Monday. The ambassador said,"We have improved per hector yield through double cropping, corn after soybean. Similarly, poultry meat has huge potential and Pakistani exporters can take benefit from Brazilian expertise in this sector." The current trade volume between the two countries, he said, was around 300 million dollars which was very low. Brazil's major imports from Pakistan were sports items, surgical tools, cotton, polymer and paper. More than 30% of exports were being carried out in agriculture and livestock sector, he added. Acting President RCCI Saqib Rafiq underscored the need to translate the existing goodwill in building solid trade and commercial ties between the two countries. Brazilian expertise in information technology, dairy farming, livestock and renewable energy and infrastructure sectors was much needed in Pakistan, he added. He said there was a need to explore non conventional sectors like gem and jewellery, marble, information technology and pharmaceuticals. Saqib urged the envoy to focus on increasing Pakistan's exports to Brazil and attracting Brazilian investment for joint ventures. To benefit from the existing opportunities, exchange of delegations was important, he added. He said single country exhibitions could be a great source of introducing products in each other's markets. A Brazilian information desk was required at the chamber where members could get informational catalogues and brochures. He invited envoy to bring Brazilian Companies representatives in the upcoming international trade and expo conference being organised by RCCI in August this year.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2016

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QATAR WANTS TO SET UP TWO POWER PLANTS: ENVOY

Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri said on Tuesday that his country was interested to build two power plants in Pakistan for which initial studies were in progress. He said Qatari and Chinese companies were already working on four coal-based power plants in Pakistan and construction of two power plants by Qatar would go a long way in reducing Pakistan's energy problem. He expressed these views during an interaction with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) here. The Ambassador said Qatar was giving priority to Pakistan for promoting trade and economic relations and signing of LNG deal between Pakistan and Qatar was a positive development to bring the two countries even closer. He said next meeting of Qatar-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Committee would be held in Pakistan that year which would be a good forum to discuss new areas of mutual cooperation. Al-Mansouri said over 112,000 Pakistanis were working in Qatar and making useful contribution to its economic development. He said Qatar planned to import more manpower from Pakistan for its various ongoing projects. The Ambassador said exchange of trade delegations was an effective tool to explore new areas of trade promotion. He said Qatar was already importing many Pakistani products including rice, medical equipment, medicines, sports goods, dry fruits, leather products, fish etc and was interested to import more products from Pakistan. He said Qatar allowed 100 percent foreign investment in specific sectors and Pakistani investors should take benefit of such incentives. He said both countries had good potential to enhance cooperation in many fields and his Embassy was ready to cooperate with Pakistani entrepreneurs in finding out business prospects in his country. In his welcome address, President, ICCI, Atif Ikram Sheikh said bilateral trade of less than $300 million between Pakistan and Qatar was much below their real potential and stressed that both countries should facilitate private sectors in improving two-way trade. He said ICCI was interested to sign MoU with Qatar Chamber of Commerce to improve business linkages between the two countries and Qatari embassy should cooperate in realising this objective. The President, ICCI, said Pakistan's economy offered huge investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, construction and other sectors and Qatar Investment Authority should be encouraged to explore Pakistan for joint ventures and investment. He said both countries should strengthen cooperation in energy, trade, investment and manpower sectors. He said due to FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar had to initiate more construction projects and it should prefer to import more manpower from Pakistan which would help in reducing unemployment in the country. He said ICCI would consider taking a delegation to Qatar and embassy should cooperate in making its visit successful.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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NEW OIL & GAS RESERVES DISCOVERED IN KARAK

Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) has made a significant oil and natural gas discovery at an exploratory well in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday. The well has been drilled up to a depth of 5,900 meters. During the initial short duration tests, the well flowed oil at the average rate of 1,425 barrels and 1.1MMSCFD of gas per day. According to authorities, discovery of new oil and gas reservoirs were "vital" to cope with the prevailing energy shortage in the country. Earlier on January 20, a new reservoir of oil and gas was discovered by Mol in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the experts new discoveries of oil and gas reserves will lead to lesser imports of petroleum products and will save Pakistan's precious foreign reserves.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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GAMESA TO DEFINE FUTURE OF WIND ENERGY IN PAKISTAN

A seminar was organised as part of a high-level delegation visit to Pakistan by Gamesa, a global leader in the design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of wind turbines, in joint collaboration with Orient Energy Systems (Pvt) Ltd at a local hotel recently. Local stakeholders such as developers, IPPs, engineers, consultants, investors, related institutions and key representatives of media attended the event. The seminar was inaugurated by Carlos Morales Sanchez, Ambassador of Spain in Pakistan. Amjad Ali Awan, Chief Executive Officer, Alternate Energy Development Board Pakistan, gave an introductory address highlighting the situation of wind energy sector in Pakistan. The director of Alternate Energy, Mehfooz Ahmed Qazi also spoke during the inauguration of this historic seminar. After the insightful opening addresses, the expert panel from Gamesa talked about the products and energy solutions best suited for the Pakistani market and why Gamesa is truly a global leader when it comes to wind energy solutions.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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HUBCO'S $2.4 BILLION COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT NEARS COMPLETION

Hub Power Company (Hubco) is in advanced stages of developing 1320 megawatts coal-fired power plant at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion, the company officials told Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on Friday. "We are in advanced stages of a historic, multi-billion dollar project to develop 1320MW plant," said CEO Hubco Khalid Mansoor, who led a company delegation, which called on the federal minister and Secretary Younus Dagha in the federal capital for a briefing on Hubco's 2x660 megawatts coal project. The facility, Mansoor said, would have two units of 660MW each, using imported coal as fuel and an ancillary jetty for coal transportation near the existing Hub plant. "The cost of the project is estimated at $2.4 billion and it would be one of the largest private-sector investments in Pakistan," he added. Other delegates included Hubco's Senior Vice President New Ventures Tahir Jawaid, Chairman coal project company - China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) -Huang Yuntao and CEO CPHGC Zhao Yonggang. The project would be developed via a joint venture (JV) company named CPHGC, which has already been incorporated under the laws of Pakistan. A part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Hubco is the only power project under CPEC in Balochistan. The project is being undertaken through a joint venture between Hubco and China Power International Holding Limited (CPIH), a wholly-owned core enterprise of State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), one of the five State Power Corporations in China. "As an integral part of project development, Hubco has carried out an environmental and social impact Assessment (ESIA) study. The environmental concerns of the project identified in the ESIA study include the recommended mitigation measures which will be fully complied by Hubco during various phases of the project," said Mansoor. Chairman CPHGC Huang Yuntao told the meeting that: "With state-of-the-art equipment, the project would meet international standards. Liquid effluent treatment plants would also be installed at the project. The company would ensure that industrial effluents discharged by the project do not go beyond the limits set out by the NEQS, ensuring that there is no adverse impact on the marine ecology of the surrounding area". A Hubco statement quoted Minister of Water and Power Khwaja Asif as lauding the role of Chinese firms in the development of energy infrastructure in Pakistan. He directed the officials concerned to remove bottlenecks the company was facing in its execution of various projects. Highlighting importance of the project, the minister said: "The project would bring immense socio-economic benefits for the country, specifically for Balochistan." Projects of this magnitude, he said, were vital to bring inclusive growth and ensure development of the adjoining areas. The minister said the project would pave the way for a much-needed shift of Pakistan's current energy mix to achieve the objective of generating energy the country needed. The project would also set precedence for further future investments in the energy sector in Pakistan," he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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INDIGENOUS OIL PRODUCTION REACHES 0.1 MILLION BARRELS PER DAY

The indigenous production of oil has reached 100,000 barrels per day which is highest in the history of the country and is helping cut precious foreign exchange to be spent on the import of petroleum products. Parliamentary Secretary for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahzadi Umerzadi Tiwana informed this to the National Assembly Thursday during the Question Hour. She said that 600 mmcfd gas and 2,700 barrel of oil per day have been added to the system with 66 discoveries of gas and six of oil have been made in the country during the tenure of the present government. The government has awarded 46 exploration licenses to different companies, she said, adding that at present 24 companies are holding exploration licenses for gas exploration in the country and are working on 164 blocks. The secretary said the joint sitting of the parliament has recently passed a Gas Theft Control and Recovery Bill which will greatly help control pilferage of the precious reserve. She informed the house that the country imported petroleum products of worth $9.334 billion during 2015. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority is taking action on adulteration cases in petroleum products and imposing fines according to the gravity of violations. She also urged the public to file complaints if they see any adulteration taking place at any petrol pumps. She said action will be taken on the complaints. Giving details, she said that four off-spec/adulteration cases in petroleum products were registered in OGRA during FY 2014-15: Two cases for off-spec High Speed Diesel (HSD) produced by Oil Refineries (ie Byco Oil Pakistan Limited and Pakistan Refinery Limited), one case of off-spec gasoline imported by Hascol Petroleum Limited and 01 case of off-spec gasoline at a retail outlet of M/s Pakistan State Oil (PSO). As a punitive measure, the OGRA after serving show cause notices, imposed penalties on the responsible companies according to the gravity of violation/non-conformance. In this regard, OGRA imposed following penalties on the above cases: Rs 0.5 Million on Byco Oil Pakistan Limited, 1.0 million on Pakistan Refinery Limited, 2.0 million on Hascol Petroleum Limited and 0.1 Million on Pakistan State Oil. All defaulter companies have submitted their fined amounts, she said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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PEDO TO COMPLETE THREE HYDEL PROJECTS THIS YEAR

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is taking far-reaching steps to accelerate the pace of generating electricity in order to pull the country out of energy crisis. In this context, three hydropower projects of 56 MW will be completed this year while five projects of 214 MW are going on in full swing that would be proved as milestone in the development of industrial sector in province. Munda dam and other projects have proposed to induct in upcoming China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega project. Asian Development Bank (ADB) would assist to develop 1000 mini-micro hydropower stations in backward areas wherein people are deprived of the electricity. This was told to 12th meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD), Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) held under the chairmanship of ex-chairman WAPDA and chairman PEDO's Board, Shakeel Durrani. The meeting was also attended by Secretary Energy & Power Engr. Naeem Khan, Additional Home Secretary Shahid ullah, Additional Secretary Finance, Senator Nauman Wazir, Engr. Sardar Tariq, Engr. Younas Marwat, Ghulam Sarwar Mohmand, Shahid Sattar and Chief Executive Officer PEDO Akbar Ayub Khan. Meanwhile, CEO PEDO Akbar Ayub briefed the board about work pace in ongoing hydropower projects in province. He explained that this year three energy projects will be completed and would start power generation of 56 MW while work is going on in full swing on 5 projects viz. Karora, Jabori, Koto, Matiltan and Lawi HPPs that would produce 214 MW power. He further informed that present provincial government has started works on 356 mini-micro hydel stations wherein people are deprived of electricity. He added that the number of these hydel stations to be increased up to 1000 with the financial support of ADB. In addition to this, 6 hydropower projects have already been advertised in the press for implementation through private sector. During the meeting, the board discussed the steps to be taken for the welfare of the PEDO's employees in new set-up of the organisation. PEDO's board member expressed its satisfaction over the pace of work on ongoing projects. The Chairman PEDO's Board Shakeel Durrani reiterated that board is fully autonomous, there is no political pressure on it and as per merit all the decisions would be taken in the best interest of the province. He informed that provincial government is engaged with federal government for induction of proposed Munda dam and other projects in CPEC program.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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NEELUM JHELUM HYDROPOWER PROJECT : RADIAL GATES INSTALLED AT SPILLWAY

The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has achieved another milestone in completion of the 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, as the authorities successfully completed installation of the third and the last radial gate on spillway of the rock-filled and concrete gravity composite dam located in Noseri, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. With this significant development, installation of all three radial gates on spillway of the dam has been completed. Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project authorities today arranged a ceremony at dam site to celebrate this achievement. WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mahmood was the chief guest of the ceremony. Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project Chief Executive Officer Engineer Muhammad Zubair, Project Director Nayyar Ala-ud-Din and representatives of the contractor and the consultants were also present on the occasion. Addressing the ceremony, the Chairman congratulated the project authorities on achieving the milestone. He paid homage to their resolute commitment, devotion and hard work to implement this extremely difficult project. He expressed the hope that the project will be completed in accordance with the revised schedule, as most of the critical targets pertaining to construction of the project have already been achieved such as river crossing, connectivity of left and right headrace tunnels etc. During visit of the project, the Chairman noted it with satisfaction that both tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have been effectively excavating the tunnel. Earlier, Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project Chief Executive Officer briefed the Chairman about progress on the project. He said that construction work on all sites is heading at a good pace. He apprised the Chairman that dam and allied structures are about 80 per cent complete, while progress on the headrace tunnel is about 90 percent and on the power house is 87 percent. He further said that a sum of Rs 249 billion has so far been spent on construction of the project. It is pertinent to mention that as per revised schedule, first generating unit of the project is expected to be completed in July 2017, whereas the remaining three units will come on line by the end of 2017 in various phases. Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Company is constructing a world class underground power generation facility. The project envisages 90% construction work under high mountainous overburden and only 10% above the surface.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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KBD COULD GENERATE UP TO 4,200 MEGAWATTS OF CHEAP ELECTRICITY: FORMER CM KP

The former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister has claimed that the Kalabagh Dam could store up to 6.1 million acre feet of water during summer, shaving off floods peaks and releasing it during low-water months and increasing the availability of river water for use by the provinces as well as lowering flood peaks and providing floods relief. Shamsul Mulk addressing a seminar arranged by the Pakistan Engineering Congress in connection with the World Water Day on Monday said the dam could generate up to 4,200 megawatts (about 12 billion units annually) of cheap electricity for national needs. "For three provinces of Pakistan, alternatives for the dam exist. For KP, there is no alternative of the Kalabagh Dam; and this disparity is because of the location of the irrigable area where each province shall or can use its share of water for irrigation. The irrigable areas of the three provinces of the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan are in the plains and thus easily commanded through gravity flow in the canals which receive their supplies from the various Barrages," he told his audience. In case of KP, the former chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority said the land available and suitable for agriculture was about 800,000 million acres located in Bannu and DI Khan districts. "This land is in the form of plateaus at about 50 to 150 feet above the Indus River as it flows along the eastern boundaries of these districts. This will become relevant when another dam - the Bhasha Dam or any other is built and its stored water is distributed between the four provinces," he added. He went on to say that while the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan would have no problem in receiving its share, the share of KP would need to be raised by 50 to 150 feet to commend the irrigable area. "There are two ways to raise the Indus waters to those heights. One is to pump it ie lift irrigation. The other is to build the Kalabagh Dam, creating a reservoir that would raise water to a height easily commanding the plateaus and thus irrigate these lands by gravity. In this way, all the provinces would have the same equitable access to their share of water," he added. Pakistan Engineering Congress President Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain said as a result of population growth, the surface water availability which was more than 5,000 cubic metres per capita in 1950, had now (2016) reduced to about 1,000 per person. "Pakistan is at the threshold of being a water-scarce country," he warned. He said, "Pakistan is mining about 50 million acre feet of ground water to meet the domestic agriculture demand. The current rate of ground water extraction is more than what is being recharged resulting in diminishing aquifer. If not regulated this would not be sustainable. "Pakistan has the largest and the oldest contiguous irrigation system. After diversion of water at various barrages, 30 million acre feet of water on the average, goes down the last barrage into the Arabian Sea every year. The climate and freshwater systems are inter-connected in complex ways. Any change in one of these systems induces a change in the other. "It is projected that there will be rise in temperature to the tune of four degrees Celsius by the end of current century in the Indus Plains. The impact of climate change on the snow and ice regimes of the Upper Indus Basin which provide more than 70 percent of the river runoff, also adds uncertainty to Pakistan water system. Water use, in particular irrigation water use, generally increases with temperature. If this be the case, then in Pakistan where water use is dominated by irrigation and accounts for more than 90 percent of total consumptive water use, we have to take pre-emptive measures to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on water resources. Therefore, in order to have sustainable economic development, Pakistan must have more capacity to store water and make it optimal use." He also said 30- to 35 million acre feet of water every year flowed into the sea over the years without any productive use in agricultural, generation of cheap electricity and industrial development. He went on, "Pakistan has only 30-day storage facility in dams compared to 220-day storage in India and 1,000 days in Egypt. According to International Standards, 40 percent of the river flows are required to be stored. Pakistan has only 13.29 million acre feet storage against 58 million acre feet, a dismal position. "We have not spared even the ground water resources; one-million tube wells are extracting water, without any regulatory frame-work, and without adequate re-charge system which is resulting in steep fall in water tables. Hill torrents produce 18 million acre feet of water out of which 13 million acre feet can be used for bringing waste land under cultivation but no progress has been made resulting in flash floods and destructions during in the past six to seven decades."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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1,000 MEGAWATTS OF ELECTRICITY CAN BE SAVED: PEC

The Pakistan Engineering Council, which is a group of professional engineers, claims 1,000 megawatts can be saved though efficient measures and the government has undertaken steps to mitigate the energy crisis with policy making as its first priority. The claim by council Chairman Javed Salim Qureshi came in his address to the 36th annual convention and annual general meeting of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Pakistan on Saturday. He said the Power Policy 2015 aimed at offering better incentives and simplified processing to bridge the demand and supply gap currently hovering around 6,000 megawatts. "The government is also looking forward to implementing the concept of net metering to allow consumers having surplus power from their solar panels or wind systems to sell it to distribution companies acting as producers rather than consumers. The energy crisis being faced by the country has eroded growth, reduced the gross domestic product and unfortunately also led to the loss of jobs," he told his audience. But the President of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Pakistan, Mohsin Syed, claimed the country was currently facing a minimum shortage of 10,000 megawatts. "If we connect 45 percent of Pakistanis who are not connected to the grid, we must plan to generate 50,000 megawatts by 2030," he said. "Solar energy is an option in which every Pakistani can participate by installing one to five kilowatts in their homes. This can remove 3,000 megawatts of load from the distribution network and this saved energy can be used by industry. "Agriculture tube wells consuming 15 to 20 kilowatts can be converted to solar energy and 200,000 tube wells can spare another 3,000 megawatts from the distribution system benefiting the farmers by reducing the input cost of water." The institute's Award of Excellence went to seven engineers who were Salis Usman, Professor Doctor Sohail Aftab Qureshi, Mian Sultan Mahmood, Akhlaq Ahmad Qadri, Muhammad Ashfaq, Shumail Ahmed and Junaid Malik.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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GUDDU POWER STATION: MINISTRY TO ADD 1500 MEGAWATTS TO GRID BY SUMMER

Ministry of Water and Power is to add 1500 MW electricity to the national grid from Guddu Thermal Power Station by summer 2016. Secretary Water and Power, Younas Dagha, has inaugurated an addition of 270 MW of electricity to the national grid from Guddu power plant, at Guddu. The electricity has been added from 415 MW Siemens Block of Guddu Power Complex having two gas turbines and one steam turbine. The entire plant stopped generation in 2013 due to damages in gas and steam turbines. According to Water and Power Ministry spokesman, the present government besides initiating new power projects, has also embarked upon utilisation and rehabilitation of the existing generation capacity. In the same spirit, in 2015 work was awarded to MAPNA from Iran for rehabilitation of the 415MW Siemens'' Block plant at Guddu. Rehabilitation work started on 20/11/2015 and timelines were strictly followed. With an aggressive work plan followed, first gas turbine was put on generation on January 16, 2016 while the second one began generation on March 9, 2016. With completion of work on these two turbines a total of 270MW of electricity has been added to the system, the spokesman added. Another GE gas turbine is also under rehabilitation and this will add another 100MW to the system by end April. Inaugurating an addition of 270 MW electricity to the national grid, Dagha said that a new addition of around 450 MW is also expected from Chashma III and some wind power projects before summer this year. He said that a total of 820MW addition in the generation capacity is expected during the summer from the new power plants and rehabilitation process. Officials present on the occasion apprised the Secretary that Ministry has set a target to achieve more than 1500MW generation from Guddu Power Complex by summer of 2016. The officials of GENCO Holding, contractors and officials of the Ministry are working hard to meet the target. The spokesman further stated that due to untiring efforts of the Ministry of Water and Power, recently 120 mmcfd gas from Mari Gas field has been allocated for Guddu Power Complex and aggressive work is in progress for installation of compressors to fully utilise the gas. The Ministry is also working on rehabilitation of Sui-Guddu pipeline to get additional gas which has a generation potential of more than 1700 mw. A proposal in this regard has been submitted to the ECC.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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LNG MARKET: OVER-SUPPLY IMPROVES BARGAINING POSITION OF BUYERS: PBIF CHIEF

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain has said that over-supply has improved the bargaining position of buyers in the LNG market while sellers are on the weaker side which should be used in the national interests. He said that summer will hit LNG prices which are already down due to oil prices and oversupply therefore a transparent mechanism should be put in place for spot purchases from Qatar and Australia. Energy crisis continue to hit GDP by two percent per annum and Pakistan would have not lost twenty percent of the GDP growth rate if LNG deal was signed a decade back. He said that arrival of first LNG vessel followed by landmark Qatar deal is beginning of regular supplies which will reduce gap between supply and demand of the gas. This is a great step by the government which will transform national energy landscape by starting to balance energy mix which is very heavily tilted towards oil, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that industry is pinning high hopes as re-gasification of 150000 cubic meters of super chilled fuel has been initiated which will revive power sector and industry which salvaging dying CNG industry in Punjab in which people have invested around Rs 350 billion. He said that the development is the most important step by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to tame energy crisis to trigger growth. The veteran business leader said that initially power and fertiliser sector will benefit from imported gas demanding steps to provide gas to textile and other industries. He said that government should also explore construction of pipelines in the private sector, expedite work on south-north pipeline, and establish new terminals as existing terminal can only handle three million cubic meters of chilled gas per annum.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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ENERGY, EDUCATION SECTORS: PAKISTAN, JAPAN SIGN TWO AGREEMENTS

Pakistan and Japan here on Tuesday signed bilateral agreements for two projects to support energy and education sectors in Pakistan. The Government of Japan has agreed to provide grants approximately worth 1,967 million yen ($17.5 million) to the Government of Pakistan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in order to strengthen training facilities on power grid operations and to build around 25 girls' schools. The bilateral agreements were signed between Junya Matsuura, Charge d'Affaires ad interim of Japan to Pakistan and Tariq Bajwa, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD). On the occasion, Grant Agreements on the details of implementation of these projects were signed between Yasuhiro Tojo, Chief Representative of JICA and Syed Mujtaba Hussain, Joint Secretary of EAD. "The Project for Strengthening Training Center on Grid System Operations and Maintenance", will support Technical Service Group (TSG) of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC). JICA completed its technical cooperation project in 2014 for capacity building for trainers of grid system operators of NTDC. This grant aid project will bring about a synergy with outcome of the technical cooperation. "The Project for Upgrading Primary Girls Schools into Elementary Schools in Northern Rural Sindh", which actually is the second phase of the on-going project, and will build around 25 elementary-middle schools for girls in the rural areas of Northern Sindh Province (Khairpur, Sukkur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Larkana and Dadu) to improve and expand girls' access to middle education in rural areas of Sindh.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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