14TH INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

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News Headlines for the month of
MAY 2016

GOVERNMENT MULLING INVESTING RS 410 BILLION IN POWER SECTOR

The government plans a Rs 410 billion investment in power sector with Rs 157 billion from the budget while NTDC, GENCOs and WAPDA would invest Rs 253 billion from their own resources in power generation and distribution projects. The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif through video conference from London was submitted a summary by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, stating that due to special security arrangements of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects (CPEC), one percent cost of 13 projects for development of Gwadar has been earmarked for security arrangements. The meeting was informed that CPEC offers a game-changer opportunity for trade and growth and revolutionise the socio-economic scene of the country. The government is committed to working together with the federating units in taking forward this important pillar of development agenda. The CPEC projects would enter their second year of implementation during 2016-17 therefore, while carving the details of the development outlay, it was kept in mind that the CPEC projects get enough funds required for their takeoff so that these projects arrive at a stage of maturity by the end of year. This would enable timely completion of CPEC projects in subsequent years. The meeting was further told that the government is fully cognisant of the importance of appropriately financing CPEC projects at all cost, and no CPEC project would get delayed due to resource constraints. Thirteen projects for development of Gwadar are also part of PSDP 2016-17 with a total estimated cost of Rs 68 billion. An amount of Rs 9.5 billion has been allocated. Due to special security requirements of CPEC projects, 1 percent of the cost of these projects has been earmarked for security arrangements. The NEC was further informed that six projects of Pakistan Railway having an estimated cost of Rs 3.1 billion are included to support the CPEC, with an allocation of Rs 1.8 billion during 2016-17. The meeting was also informed that it was also advised not to include un-approved projects in the proposed development programme for 2016-17 with the exception of CPEC projects or those for which PC-1 have been received in the PD & R Division by May 15, 2016. as a result, only 3% of resources have been proposed for new projects during 2016-17. As per a summary of the proposed PSDP 2016-1, Ministries/Division would get Rs 240 billion with Rs 218 billion local funding and Rs 22 billion foreign aid, Corporations (NHA, WAPDA Power) would be given Rs 314 billion with 201 billion local funding and Rs 117 billion foreign exchange component, special areas will get Rs 42 billion with Rs 41 billion local and Rs 1 billion foreign funds. The government has allocated in federal PSDP Rs 20 billion for SDGs community development programme, Rs 240 billion for special federal development programme with Rs 218 billion local and Rs 22 foreign components. The federal government has allocated Rs 100 billion for Special Development Programme for TDPs, Rs 20 billion for Prime Minister''s youth and hunarmand programme and Rs 25 billion for gas infrastructure development fund.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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ADB DELEGATION VISITS FESCO HQ

A delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) led by Zheng Li visited the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) Headquarters here on Sunday. The delegation reviewed the electricity development projects being completed with support of the ADB. Zheng Li said that power sector of Pakistan is steaming toward right direction to overcome the loadshedding by using latest technology. He also expressed satisfaction over the speed of development works being completed with ADB loan and expected that in future all projects would be completed with same pace so that positive impacts of these projects could be helpful for agriculture and industrial sector. Earlier, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fesco Rashid Ahmed Aslam welcomed the delegation and told that six new grid stations are being constructed while development works at 40 existing grid stations are in full swing with the help of the ADB. He further said that first GIS city grid station Faisalabad and AIS 132KV Shahbaz Khel Mianwali would be completed till March 2017 while work is in progress for the up-gradation of four 66-KV grid station including 18-Hazari, G M Raja, Rakh Digran and Kalabagh into 132 KV. He expressed satisfaction over the performance of the Project Management Unit (PMU) and directed that there should be no compromise over the quality of the development projects and in this connection no negligence would be tolerated. ADB consultant Robert, General Manager Operation Masood Salahaudin, Chief Engineer Sheikh Jahangir, Director Procurement Eng Baqar Riaz Zaidi, Director Project Finance Nazir Ahmed and other officers also present during this visit.

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KP GOVERNMENT INAUGURATES 305KW MINI MICRO HYDEL PROJECTS

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Energy & Power Muhammad Atif Khan along with PTI Chairman Imran Khan formally inaugurated 305 kW 3 Mini Micro Hydel Projects. The projects, include 200 kW Bela Bala, 75 kW Shagai and 30 kW Beesa Khait in Batgram district, that was inaugurated in a simple but impressive ceremony on Wednesday. The ceremony besides Secretary Energy & Power Engr: Naeem Khan, Chairman PEDO Board Shakil Durani, CEO PEDO Akbar Ayub and District Nazim Batgram Atta-ur-Rahman Tarnd, was also attended by the notables and elite of the area in large number. The Minister also announced up gradation of local high school to Higher Secondary and construction of Sports Stadium in Shamlai. Addressing on the occasion, the Minister said that work on 356 mini micro hydel projects costing Rs 5.524 Billion in 12 different districts of the province was underway with community partnership out of which 37 have been constructed while remaining would be completed by the end of 2017 that would benefit a population of more than 3 lacs. He added that the number of mini micro hydel projects would be enhanced to 1000 with support of Asian Development Bank to overcome the shortage of electricity. He said a new power policy 2016 has been approved for making full utilisation of hydel power in larger interest of the province and its people. Atif Khan maintained that presently work on 6 power projects of 214 MW was in progress out of that 3 projects would start generation of 56 MW electricity this year which would be provided to industrial estates for economic growth and eradication of poverty and unemployment from the province as industrialisation was the only way to get rid of these problems. In order to attract domestic as well as foreign investment in the province, 6 hydel power projects in private sector including Arkari Goal (Chitral) 99 MW, Naran Dam (Mansehra) 188 MW, Sheko Kach (Dir Lower) 120 MW, Gorband (Shangla) 21 MW, Batta Kundi (Mansehra) 96 MW and Nandihar (Batagram) 12 MW have already been advertised while work on 84 MW Mataltan hydro power project in Swat has also been approved, he further said. The Provincial Minister asserted that PEDO has also a plan of solar panels installation in 5650 houses and provision of solar power to 200 villages of the province. He added that large scale activities started by PEDO during the present era have no parallel in the past. He said, poverty and unemployment was the basic issue of the province and it could not be resolved without industrialisation adding that the PTI was focusing on this very important sector. He said that viable plan was being devised for best utilisation of God gifted natural resources like hydel, hydrocarbon, oil and gas for benefit of the masses so as to bring real change in their life as per commitment of the PTI.

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SURPLUS POWER AND GAS TO BE AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS IN 2 YEARS: KHAQAN

Federal Minister for Petroleum, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday said that the government is making all possible efforts to end energy crisis from the country and has allowed private sectors to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Addressing launching of United Gas Distribution Company (UGDC) established by owners of All Pakistan CNG Association to start importing and distributing gas for the CNG sectors, the minister said that within next two years surplus power and gas will be available to consumers. The minister said that in 2013 when Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) formed government at federal level Pakistan was facing serious energy shortage challenges but within three years the government has at least reduced the energy crisis. He informed the participants that in 2015, the country imported 1 million tons of urea fertiliser spending millions of dollars but this year at present the country has 1.5 million surplus urea stocks, adding that this was possible through import of LNG which enabled fertilizer plants to operate. He appreciated APCNGA's decision of entering in LNG import and advised other sectors to follow the steps taken by CNG association. He said that more LNG terminals will be set up as the country plans to take LNG imports within next two years to 2.4 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) mark to cater increasing gas demand. Abbasi said that in 2018 Thar Coal power projects will be completed and it will help in dealing power crisis. The minister also said that Euro-ii standard petroleum products will be available across the country during ongoing year. He added that present government has resolved prolonged energy crisis of past 15 years within just three years and anyone can compare PML-N government performance with the performance of other former governments in past 15 years. Addressing on the occasion Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha senior leader of APCNGA said that CNG stations in Punjab can consume up to 250 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of LNG and at present the sector was consuming 100 MMCFD of gas. He added that from 2010 to 2014 hundreds of CNG stations in Punjab quit business as a result of non availability of gas but after the supply of LNG to CNG outlets at present 1,351 outlets are ready to use LNG. A portion of the sector had quit the business owing to long power outages leading to massive losses however import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar and accords with different countries have revitalised the industry to some extent. In Punjab, currently at least 600 CNG pumps are operating on LNG. Owners of CNG stations have said that to revive the sector; the government needs to withdraw different taxes.

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3600MG GAS-BASED POWER PROJECTS: SHAHBAZ REVIEWS PACE OF WORK

Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that work is speedily continuing on 3600 MG gas-based power projects in the province. He said that loadshedding will be overcome to a large extent with the completion of these projects. He said that government is making all out efforts for completing these projects as per schedule. He said that Federal Ministries of Water, Power and Petroleum & Gas and other concerned institutions should speedily deal with all affairs with regard to execution of these projects. He was talking during a high level meeting at Islamabad Tuesday which was attended by Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Petroleum & Gas Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and senior officers of other concerned departments. Senior officials of Ministry of Water & Power, Petroleum & Gas, NEPRA and other concerned departments attended the meeting. Shahbaz said that PML-N government is determined to steer the country out of darkness and rid the people of loadshedding. He said that not only loadshedding will be eliminated with the completion of energy generation projects but electricity will be available in abundance for the industry, agriculture and other sectors of the country in 2018. The CM said that by ridding the country of energy crisis, the country can be put on the road to economic development and prosperity therefore government is paying attention to electricity generation projects. Federal Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that all out help will be provided for the completion of gas-based power projects in Punjab while dealing with the affairs relating to their ministries. He said that elimination of loadshedding and resolving energy crisis is among top priorities of federal and Punjab governments. Senior officials of Punjab Energy Department and officers of concerned federal ministries gave special briefing regarding progress of electricity projects and pace of work.

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DIGITAL POWER PLANT SOLUTIONS: GE SIGNS CONTRACTS WITH PAKISTAN'S HALMORE & ORIENT

General Electric (GE) has signed contracts with Halmore Power Generation Company Limited and Orient Power Company Ltd to provide its Predix-enabled Digital Power Plant solutions. This complements the Government's Vision 2025 to double power generation to over 45,000 MW and increase electricity access from 67 to over 90 percent of the population. GE estimates $1.3 trillion in value creation up to 2025 for companies that are going digital and $90 billion is expected to be invested in the energy industry's digitisation by 2020. Pakistan plays a key role in these investments. GE's Digital Power Plant solutions for Pakistan integrate hardware, software applications with operations optimisation and predictive analytics capabilities to deliver such benefits as improving thermal efficiency and enhancing plant operations. The deployment of GE Power's Digital Power Plant solutions will enhance the thermal efficiency of Halmore's power plant in Bhikki, and Orient's plant in Balloki, Punjab, by using GE's industrial internet to integrate advanced data analytics with heavy machinery. The implementation of GE's solutions will commence at Balloki later this year. Zaheer Ahmed, MD Halmore Company, said: "We have a long-term partnership with GE, which brings advanced digital industrial solutions that enable us to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity. The new software solution is another innovative step that we are implementing at the Bhikki power plant to support the nation in securing reliable power supply to meet the growing need." Nadeem Babar, CEO Orient Company, added: "We are looking at innovative technologies to strengthen the operational efficiency of the Balloki plant to meet the growing energy needs of the country. GE Power's software solutions are ideally suited for the power plant as they bring strong predictive maintenance, which in turn will reduce the downtime of operations. The modifications in software and hardware components, using GE technology will lead to the most efficient utilisation of our resources."-PR

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IMPORTS OF LNG TO BE RAISED TO 2.4 BCFD IN TWO YEARS: KHAQAN

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday said that Pakistan will take imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to 2.4 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) in the next two years from current 450 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) level. Addressing a seminar organised by Petroleum Institute of Pakistan (PIP) titled "LNG Market Analysis and Trends," Abbasi said that uninterrupted gas is being supplied to industries and power plants. He said Pakistan is importing LNG from Qatar at cheapest rate in Asia. He said that the import of LNG has enabled the government to supply uninterrupted gas to industries, CNG stations in Punjab and power plants adding that Pakistan is importing LNG from Qatar at the cheapest rate in Asia. The minister said that following Pakistan-Qatar LNG agreement India and China also renegotiated LNG deals with Qatar and signed similar deals as Pakistan got. The minister said that viability of Pakistan's energy future is directly linked to LNG, adding that LNG is the only cost-effective solution for Pakistan's energy problems. He said that government is also focusing on indigenous exploration of gas reservoirs to overcome energy crisis, but since 2000 local gas production is hovering around 4 BCFD, while country's total gas demand has reached 8 BCFD so to cater the demand/supply gas import of LNG is the only available option. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that LNG imports in Pakistan will be linked to oil as Pakistan was replacing Furnace Oil (FO) imports. "Pakistan's per annum crude oil imports are worth $15 billion of which FO imports are worth $9 billion. Replacing FO with LNG will save at least $2 billion per annum for the country as it is cleanest and having best efficiency as compared to other fuels used in power production" he added. He said the government is expecting that private sector should come forward; adding that infrastructure is available to deliver LNG based gas to customers. He said that Pakistan energy crisis cannot be resolved without more gas in the system, adding that "We hope local as well as international oil/gas exploration and production companies operating in Pakistan would explore more local reserves in future." Replying to a question the minister said that international sanctions against Iran are still in place so under the current situation Pakistan can't build Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. However he said that Pakistan and Iran are closely collaborating on all the subjects including IP and once sanctions against Iran are lifted work on the project would soon started. The minister said that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) is now becoming a reality but it will take four to five years to come in the system. He said that Pakistan need to look into its need and take decisions accordingly. He said the government negotiated best deal available at that time. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan is getting one of the cheapest LNG in the world and there is no doubt about it, adding that "We need to have some long term and short term contracts." The seminar was attended by CEO PIP, Mark Thurber, Andrew Kurth LLP USA, Rahat Kamal, Project Director Gasport and Mohsin Siddiqui, Granada Group of Companies Inc USA. Mark Thurber delivered his presentation on the LNG contracts and negotiation. While Rahat Kamal delivered a lecture on the LNG receiving terminals, design, storage and project structure and Mohsin Siddiqui spoke about the LNG markets trends and regional structures.

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TURKMENISTAN SEEKS IDB, SAUDI, JAPANESE FUNDING FOR GAS LINK

Turkmenistan is in talks with the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development and Japan''s government on financing the construction of a gas pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, a project official said on Saturday. The TAPI pipeline is supposed to carry 33 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year from Turkmenistan''s giant Galkynysh gas field - a project designed to ease the former Soviet state''s dependence on Russia and China. Turkmenistan, which sits on the world''s fourth-largest gas reserves, started building its section of the link in December. But its partners in the project - the state energy companies of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - have yet to begin work. The 1,814-km (1,127-mile) route also faces security challenges - current plans send the underground pipeline through one of Afghanistan''s most violence-wracked provinces, Helmand, where the Taliban insurgents hold sway. "The Islamic Development Bank has expressed interest and readiness to finance the project, not only on Turkmenistan''s territory, but also in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Muhammetmyrat Amanov of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited told a conference in the Turkmen resort of Avaza. "We are also working with the Saudi Fund for Development ... We have had meetings with the government of Japan. They have expressed interest," he said. Amanov said the project company, controlled by Turkmen state firm Turkmengas, was working on estimating the total cost of the project.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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PPL DISCOVERS GAS IN KOTRI

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) has discovered hydrocarbons from its exploratory well in its Kotri Block near Hyderabad of Sindh province. The discovery of, what Company Secretary Saqib Ahmed said, "tight gas" was made at the PPL's Kotri X-1 exploratory well. "Kotri X-1 was drilled to test the hydrocarbon potential of sands of Lower Goru formation," the official said. A company statement said the well was spud on February 10 and reached the final depth of 3,892 meters on April 23. A Cased Hole Drill Stem Test was carried out in Lower Goru Massive Sands on the basis of the gas shows encountered during drilling and wireline logs evaluation. Ahmed said the well flowed "good quality gas" at an average rate of 3.4 MMscfd at flowing wellhead pressure of 608 psi (pounds per square inch). The preliminary analysis of the test data suggested that the hydrocarbon discovered was "tight gas," said the official. However, he said, further evaluation was required to determine the nature and commerciality of the discovery on the basis of geological, geophysical and engineering data collected during the drilling and testing of the well. PPL is the operator of Kotri Block with 100 percent working interest. Analysts at Arif Habib Limited Research said being one of the blocks whereby the PPL opted for PP'12, the gas would be priced as per PP'12, although, preliminary flows suggest it to be tight gas and thus pricing may be different from PP'12. Shahbaz Ashraf and Waleed Rahmani of AHL said that as per the initial tests, the well flowed 3.4mmcfd of gas, insignificant compared to 742mmcfd of total gas production in 9MFY16. The analysts estimate the well to inflate the bottom-line by Rs 0.08 per share. Expected production additions from Gambat (gas/oil 162mmcfd/2,865bpd) and Mardankhel (gas/oil/41mmcfd/3,440bpd) should further boost the company's hydrocarbon additions, they said.

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PPL DISCOVERS GAS IN KOTRI

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) has discovered hydrocarbons from its exploratory well in its Kotri Block near Hyderabad of Sindh province. The discovery of, what Company Secretary Saqib Ahmed said, "tight gas" was made at the PPL's Kotri X-1 exploratory well. "Kotri X-1 was drilled to test the hydrocarbon potential of sands of Lower Goru formation," the official said. A company statement said the well was spud on February 10 and reached the final depth of 3,892 meters on April 23. A Cased Hole Drill Stem Test was carried out in Lower Goru Massive Sands on the basis of the gas shows encountered during drilling and wireline logs evaluation. Ahmed said the well flowed "good quality gas" at an average rate of 3.4 MMscfd at flowing wellhead pressure of 608 psi (pounds per square inch). The preliminary analysis of the test data suggested that the hydrocarbon discovered was "tight gas," said the official. However, he said, further evaluation was required to determine the nature and commerciality of the discovery on the basis of geological, geophysical and engineering data collected during the drilling and testing of the well. PPL is the operator of Kotri Block with 100 percent working interest. Analysts at Arif Habib Limited Research said being one of the blocks whereby the PPL opted for PP'12, the gas would be priced as per PP'12, although, preliminary flows suggest it to be tight gas and thus pricing may be different from PP'12. Shahbaz Ashraf and Waleed Rahmani of AHL said that as per the initial tests, the well flowed 3.4mmcfd of gas, insignificant compared to 742mmcfd of total gas production in 9MFY16. The analysts estimate the well to inflate the bottom-line by Rs 0.08 per share. Expected production additions from Gambat (gas/oil 162mmcfd/2,865bpd) and Mardankhel (gas/oil/41mmcfd/3,440bpd) should further boost the company's hydrocarbon additions, they said.

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MINISTER INAUGURATES POGEE-2016 EXHIBITION IN LAHORE

"Pakistan is passing through a very grave energy crisis situation and to overcome this government of Pakistan and government of Punjab are endeavouring very hard so that Pakistan would overcome this energy crisis in the near future", this was stated by Chaudhry Sher Ali Khan, Minister for Mines & Minerals, while addressing the opening ceremony of 14th International Exhibition for Oil Gas & Energy Industry, POGEE-2016 at Expo Centre, Lahore, on Thursday. The minister highlighted various power & energy project initiated by the government. Later on, the minister officially inaugurated the three-day POGEE-2016, exhibition. Shah Jahan Mirza, Managing Director, Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB), congratulated the organiser in bringing together all the stakeholders of the power and energy sectors to interact with each other and to see where power sector is moving. He appreciated the POGEE's third consecutive success in Lahore. Managing Director Pegasus Consultancy Aamer Khanzada, in his welcome remarks said that more than 300 companies from 35 countries are displaying their products and state of the art technology at the fair. He mentioned that,"Pegasus Consultancy is the pioneer and leading event organiser in Pakistan. We take pride in stating that our exhibitions have played an important role in highlighting the various industries of Pakistan" he said."-PR

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PBIT, EUCLID ENERGY INC US INK MOU

Punjab Board of Investment and Trade signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Euclid Energy Inc (US) on Wednesday to mutually promote and facilitate investment in the clean energy segment of the Punjab. "We can be a self-sufficient economy, the only need is to make economic environment investment-friendly and that is one of the prime focus areas on which Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) in collaboration with Chief Minister Punjab's office is working at the moment" said CEO PBIT. She was speaking to media after the MoU signing ceremony held at PBIT on Wednesday. She further said, "Due to the improved security/ law & order situation, availability of skilled labour and abundant raw material, many leading companies of the world are considering to invest in Punjab". Euclid Energy Inc held a meeting with PBIT officials and Energy department earlier in April wherein various investment opportunities were discussed especially in the energy sector. It was decided that Exim bank will fulfil the funding needs of the project while PBIT will provide all the necessary facilitation. Projects like provision of clean drinking water to cater about 54 million people in rural areas; non-grid tied solar power generation and solar electricity transmission for 60 million users in rural areas; solar powered irrigation systems; Solar powered rural schools; solar powered rural Basic Health Units (BHU); Solar powered urban schools and urban satellite dispensaries; and Zero Carbon and Triple Zero Carbon Infrastructure development and Construction would be taken up within the framework of the MoU. The MoU was signed by Ameena Cheema, Chief Executive Officer PBIT and Tariq Zaheen, President Euclid Energy Inc in presence of Nissar ul Haque, Director Cost Control, Noor Al Mustaqbal and Malik Asim Javed Awan, CEO Joint Collaborations (PVT) Ltd. This MoU is the direct result of PBIT's efforts to bring foreign investment in the province.

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LNG-BASED POWER PLANTS: US EXIM BANK MULLING PROVIDING FINANCING

Vice President of US Exim Bank Annette Maresh in a letter addressed to Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, has expressed strong interest in providing financing for three LNG-based power plants of 3600 MW - at Baloki, Bhikki and Haveli Bahadar Shah. According to a spokesperson for Finance Ministry, the Finance Minister began engaging with US Exim Bank during his visit to the US in September 2015. He met senior officials of the bank and gave a detailed account of the business and investment opportunities in Pakistan. He urged the bank to explore financing development projects in Pakistan and invited the chairman of the bank to visit Pakistan for the purpose. Official documents reveal that the first phase of 1200 MW LNG -fired power plant Bhiki( Punjab, District Sheikhupura, ie, 800 MW will be completed in March 2017 whereas the second phase will be commissioned in December 2017. The LNG-based power plant of 1200MW at Haveli Bahadar Shah (Jhang) will start generation 800MW of power in April 2017 while the remaining 400MW will be added to the system in December 2017. The third LNG-fired power plant of 1200 MW will be established in Baloki (district Kasur). It will start production of 800 MW in May 2017 whereas the remaining 400MW will be commissioned in December 2017. The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), a subsidiary of Water and Power Ministry, is actively pursuing the LNG-fired projects. The spokesman said that Chairman and President of Exim Bank Fred Hochberg accepted the invitation and visited Pakistan in April 2016 along with other senior officials. The Chairman had a detailed meeting with the Finance Minister and was given a detailed briefing on various upcoming projects, especially energy projects where Exim Bank could participate. In consequence of the above efforts, the Bank has now expressed strong interest in providing financing for the three LNG-based power projects. The Bank has also offered multiple financing options for the consideration of the government of Pakistan. Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar while welcoming the decision of US Exim Bank to finance LNG-based power projects has directed the relevant government departments to work out the details of financing at the earliest. The decision by the Exim Bank to finance the energy projects also indicates the confidence of international institutions in economic stability and improved investment climate in the country, the spokesman averred. The Ministry of Water and Power is confident that it will add 11987 MW electricity to the system after which the total dependable generation capacity will increase to 31019 MW in June 2018 against the current generation capacity of 19,900MW.

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POGEE-2016 TO BE HELD FROM MAY 19

14th international exhibition of the energy industry - POGEE-2016 - is scheduled to be held from May 19-21, 2016 at Lahore Expo Centre. The exhibition is geared up for an extensive display of technological advancement and innovative services and is expected to attract approximately eight to ten thousand visitors from across the country. More than 300 companies from around 30 countries are participating in the show. The participating countries are China, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Austria, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Switzerland, Poland, Bangladesh, Japan, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, UK, US, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Belgium, Malaysia, Spain, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The exhibition provides an opportunity to bring together international business professionals and leading local industry players to exchange their technical and business expertise to acquaint the local industry with the latest developments in the energy sector. In addition, POGEE-2016 will feature a highly focused conference that is aimed at bringing the South Asia's energy industry into the limelight. POGEE conference offers an excellent platform for exchange of views and information to the highly targeted audience from oil, gas and energy industry. The conference will commence on May 21, 2016, at the Lahore Expo Centre and will be based on the theme 'designing a sustainable energy mix'. It will consist of two exclusive sessions on 'energy sector reform: prospects & challenges and 'coal & indigenous renewable resources'. The conference will be participated by eminent speakers from both local and international organisations and associations, like, Sergi Transformer Protector, France, Schneider Electric, UAE, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil & Gas Company Ltd, Centre for Coal Technology, Punjab University, Energy Research Centre, Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Adaptive Technologies and FFC Energy.

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MEGA HYDEL POWER PROJECTS ON INDUS RIVER: WAPDA OFFERS FOREIGN FIRMS TO INVEST

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has offered foreign companies to invest in mega hydel power projects of 24,000 megawatts capacity on the run of Indus River, Chairman Wapda Zafar Mehmood said on Tuesday. Briefing media, he said that a high-level meeting with all provinces including AJK, GB and FATA was held on Tuesday to give presentation on new policy regarding mega hydel projects. He said that all the stakeholders agreed on the draft policy and it will be taken to Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) and finally to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for its approval. Zafar said the provinces agreed on draft of New Hydropower Policy which envisages, handing over mega hydel power projects of 2,4200 MW including Diamer Basha Dam on Indus Cascade to foreign firms, mainly Chinese companies for swift implementation after facing poor response from multilateral donors. Before offering the project to the private investors, Wapda will complete task which include complete and upgrade the feasibility study and engineering design, environmental impact assessment, land acquisition and resettlement, construction of access roads and bridges, power evacuation plan, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), feasibility stage tariff determined by the NEPRA and engaging International Panel of Expert (IPE) for selection of bidders. In the new policy, exemptions in duties and taxes during construction phase, income tax holiday for initial five years of operation will be offered to private investors. However, major stakeholders in mega hydropower projects - AJK, GB and FATA had come up with a demand to raise hydel tariff rate like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to increase their share in net hydel profit in new draft policy for development of mega hydel power projects. He said the provinces wanted transfer of projects after expiry of 30 years lease whereas territories like AJK, GB and FATA wanted raise in share of net hydel profit like KPK by increasing tariff rate. Replying to a question, Zafar said that in case Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) wanted to undertake any of these projects, Wapda will have no objection as main goal is to produce environment friendly and cheap electricity. "I personally believe that share of territories' net hydel profit should be increased like KPK," he said, adding otherwise it is feared that it could generate negative perceptions among them. He said that a summary had been moved to Ministry of Water and Power to seek approval of ECC in this regard. Responding to a question, he said that all provinces agreed on draft of new policy which would be tabled before CCI for its approval. He said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and Central Power Purchasing Agency pointed out that projects could not be transferred to respective provinces legally. He said the Chinese companies were interested to take projects for implementation but the government will have to provide them level playing field. He said that feasibility study and detailed engineering designs required lot of upfront funds without return, and international financers were also conscious about displaced population and environmental impact. "This is a reason, Pakistan has not been able to raise funds for mega hydropower projects," he added. "In some cases private investor succeeded in getting feasibility stage indicative tariff determined from NEPRA after completing feasibility study but failed to obtain financing/lending for the project due to land acquisition and resettlement issues," he said. This lengthy process results in inordinate delays in actual implementation of the project, he added. In new policy, government would introduce two options to offer projects to the private sector. In first option, projects in which the detailed engineering design was completed by consulting firms of international repute, government would invite investors to complete the project according to the design already approved and preference would be given on the basis of early completion. NEPRA would announce upfront tariff to offer projects to the private sector. Multinational donors have their own policies and priorities for financing of development projects of different nature in different regions. Donor sensitivity regarding dislocation of people, their loss of employment, heritage, way of life and negative impact on environment also hampers financing for the projects. In second option, ranking of bidders will be made on the basis of early completion and the successful bidder will provide performance bank guarantee at a rate to be prescribed and projects for which detailed engineering design has not been made. The investor would develop his own design and preference will be given on the basis of early completion and maximum output. He said that the World Bank was funding Dasu Hydropower Project which unlocked financing for hydel projects. He said Wapda secured Rs 144 billion funding for Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project and $800 million for Dasu Hydropower Project. "The financial close of Neelum Jhelum would be achieved this month," he added.

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HYDRO POWER POTENTIAL OF GB CAN CHANGE THE FATE OF COUNTRY: FPCCI

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Saturday said hydro power potential of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) can change the fate of country by resolving energy crisis with its capacity estimated to be fifty thousand megawatt. Thermal energy is costly while hydel power offer cheapest source of energy for long term and permanent solution to the energy crisis, said Abdul Rauf Alam, President FPCCI. He said this while talking to Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman. Vice President FPCCI Johar Ali Raki and others were also present on the occasion. Rauf Alam said that hydro energy is environment-friendly, low-cost and economically viable; it can save billions of dollars required to import fuel for power generation that result in costly agricultural and industrial production. The potential of run-of-the-river projects in GB is phenomenal; 7,400 megawatt of energy can be generated at a power plant in Bunji with two additional projects of 2,000 megawatt each upstream from this location, he added. He said that government as well as the private sector must exploit the enormous power production potential in GB which can help us not only overcome energy crisis but also export electricity. Moreover, the 72,000 square miles area with around 1.3 million people has the potential for rapid development based on tourism, hospitality, mining, food processing, dry fruits, gems and jewellery and farming, he said. He noted that the number of tourists can be doubled with little effort while establishing tax-free zones can attract investment while new policies should be evolved to facilitate local and foreign investments. Abdul Rauf Alam said that FPCCI wants to establish a regional office in Gilgit-Baltistan for which it is looking forward for co-operation by the government. On the occasion, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan said that economic corridor will have a positive impact on every person in the country while it will transform Gilgit-Baltistan into an investment haven. He asked the private sector to take interest in investment in the region and that they would be provided all the facilities possible. He said that we are planning to establish an investment board, boost tourism, generate additional power, and improve law and order situation to trigger economic activities which will reduce poverty and raise standard of living of people.-PR

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SNGPL NETWORK: LNG IMPORT IMPROVES GAS SUPPLY SITUATION

The import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has improved gas supply-demand situation by 38 percent on the network of Sui-Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), officials said. Amjad Latif, Managing Director (MD) SNGPL, while replying to a question by Business Recorder said that LNG imports enable the gas utility to supply round-the-clock gas to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations, fertiliser plants, general industry and textile industry in Punjab, while there was no gas load-shedding in Khyber Paktunkhwa (KPK) as it was a producing province. According to officials, Pakistan''s indigenous gas production stood at 4 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) against the managed demand of 5.7 BCFD as a result the government was unable to supply gas to many sectors including power, fertiliser, CNG and others especially in Punjab from 2010 to 15. With the import of 400 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of LNG the gas supply/demand situation has improved by 38 percent and now the SNGPL is supplying gas to those sectors which had during the past six years faced heavy gas load-shedding. The MD said that providing a new gas connection in KP costs the company Rs 108,000, in Sindh Rs 80,000, in Punjab, Rs 54,000 and in Balochistan Rs 270,000. He said if the cost exceeds the financial burden then the additional cost can be shared between federal, provincial, local governments or Members of National Assembly, Senators, and Members of Provincial Assemblies are sharing the burden. Out of 400 MMCFD of LNG, on average 300 MMCFD is being supplied to different Independent Power Plants (IPPs), 50 MMCFD to fertiliser plants which had remained closed for almost 4 years and 50 MMCFD to Punjab based CNG stations which also faced serious problems as a result of massive gas supply-demand gap during past five years. He said that the Prime Minister has recently allowed gas connections in gas producing province areas and these schemes were pending since long as the provincial government was not providing the required funds for laying the pipelines but the Prime Minister has now approved funds for these schemes. Giving the break-up of gas pipelines laid by SNGPL during the pats two years, he said that in 2014-15 SNGPL laid a total of 2207 kilometers against the set target of 2,600 kilometers, in 2015-16 the target was 2,062 km while the utility has so far laid 1,773 kilometers of gas pipelines and by the end of this financial year SNGPL is likely to exceed the set target.

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ECONOMIC CORRIDOR: IPPS TO SELECT SITES FOR POWER PLANTS IN INDUSTRIAL ZONES

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will select sites for power plants in industrial zones under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the basis of feasibility studies, it is learnt. According to sources, the energy requirement of Special Economic Zones/Industrial Zones/Export/Mining Zones will be available after detailed feasibility studies are carried out for each of the economic zones and power plants would be provided accordingly. Priority energy projects under CPEC are being developed under the IPPs mode close to the source/load centers to overcome the acute energy shortages currently faced by domestic as well as commercial consumers and all the power generated through these projects will go into the National Grid. The detailed feasibility study for each of the economic zones will identify all the infrastructure requirements including link roads to connect the economic zones to the national highway network. The sources said that the federal government has proposed 29 industrial parks and 21 mineral economic processing zones in all four provinces under the CPEC. Law provides Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be set up by the Federal or Provincial Governments or in collaboration with the private sector under different modes of public-private partnership or exclusively through the private sector. Sources said that the fiscal benefits under the SEZ law include a one-time exemption from custom duties and taxes for all capital goods imported into Pakistan for development, operations and maintenance of a SEZ (both for the developer as well as for the zone enterprise) and exemption from all taxes on income for a period of ten years. They said that the provincial SEZ authorities, set up under the law, are required to move the applications received from developers to the Board of Investment which is to act as the secretariat to the Board of Approvals and the Approval committee. The sources said that Pakistan was also discussing Industrial Economic Zones with China which would be established along side the route of CPEC. The sources said that federal government wants to establish industrial parks in all four provinces. In Punjab, industrial estates have been proposed in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Rawat, Lahore, Sunder, Multan and Vehari. For Minerals Economic Processing Zones in Punjab, the federal government is proposing sites in the Salt Range (antimony) and Chiniot for iron ore. For industrial zones in Sindh, proposed sites are in Sukkur, Larkana, Karachi, Bin Qasim, Korangi Creek and Khairpur. For Minerals Economic Processing Zones in Sindh, the proposed sites are Thar (coal) and Lakhra (coal). The proposed sites for Industrial Economic Zones/Parks in KP include Hattar, Gadoon, Ghazi, D I Khan, Jalozai, Nowshera, Bannu, Chitral and Risalpur. The proposed Minerals Economic Processing Zones in KP included Dargai (chromite), North Waziristan (chromite), Kurram (antimony), Waziristan, (copper), Chitral (antimony), Besham (iron ore, lead), Nizampur (iron ore) and Mohmand (marble). The proposed sites for industrial zones in Balochistan include Quetta, Dostan, Gwadar, Khuzdar, Uthal, Hub and Dera Murad Jamali. The proposed Minerals Economic Processing Zones in Balochistan include Khuzdar (chromite, antimony), Chaghi (chromite), Qila Saifullah (antimony, chromite) Saindak (gold, silver), Reko Diq (gold), Kalat (iron ore) Lasbela (manganese), Gwadar (oil refinery), Muslim Bagh (chromite). The main power projects under CPEC are Port Qasim Electric Company, coal fired 2Sahiwal 2x660MW coal-fired power plants, Punjab, EngroThar 2x330MW coal-fired, Thar, Sindh; surface mine in Block II of Thar coal field,3.8 mtpa, Thar Sindh, Gwadar Coal Power Project, Gwadar, SSRL Thar Coal Block 6.5mpta &CPIH Mine Mouth Power Plant, Thar, Sindh; Quaid-e-Azam 1000MW Solar Park, Bahawalpur, Punjab; Dawood 50MW wind Farm, Bhambore, Sindh; United Energy Pakistan (UEP) 100MW wind farm, Jhimpir, Sindh; Sachal 50MW wind farm, Jhimpir, Sindh, Sunnec 50MW wind farm, Jhimpir, Sindh; Karot Hydropower Station, AJK & Punjab; HUBCO coal power plant, Hub Balochistan; Salt Range Mine Mouth Power Project including mining, Punjab; Kohala Hydel Project, AJK; Pakistan wind farm II (Jhimpir, Thatta, Sindh; and Thar mine mouth oracle, Thar Sindh in energy sector.

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HIGHEST-EVER HYDEL ELECTRICITY GENERATION RECORDED IN APRIL

Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) hydel power stations delivered as many as 2.314 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid in April 2016. This is the highest-ever generation of hydel electricity generated during the month of April so far. According to the statistics, hydel electricity delivered to the National Grid during April 2016 registered an increase of 912 million units if compared with 1.402 billion units of hydel electricity generated in April last year, thus, showing 39.4 per cent increase. This additional contribution of hydel electricity to the National Grid by WAPDA not only helped minimise loadshedding in the country during April but also lower power tariff. In addition to the increased water releases from Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma reservoirs on the indent of IRSA, effective operation and consistent maintenance of the hydel power stations are the main contributing factors behind this record hydel generation. It is worth mentioning that WAPDA delivers more than 31 billion units of hydel electricity to the National Grid every year on the average. Hydel is the cheapest, cleanest and environment-friendly source of electricity generation, which plays a pivotal role to stabilise electricity tariff in the country. According to the data of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) regarding per unit cost of electricity generated from various sources in February 2016, it is Rs 1.83 for hydel, which is far lower than per unit cost of electricity generated from all other sources. In comparison to hydel electricity, it is Rs 8.16 per unit for gas, Rs 11.67 for residual furnace oil (RFO), Rs 18.62 for high speed diesel (HSD), Rs 9.01 from IPPs, Rs 12.16 for coal, Rs 7.53 for nuclear, Rs 14.40 for wind, Rs 11.79 for bio-gases, Rs 22.55 for solar, and Rs 10.50 per unit for electricity imported from Iran. At present, WAPDA owns as many as 19 hydel power stations with cumulative generation capacity 6902 megawatt (MW), which is about one third of the total installed capacity in Pakistan. Hydroelectric equipment, the world over, has a normal life span of 30 to 35 years on the average, but WAPDA still successfully operates its hydel power stations, majority of which are far much older than their average life. Despite aging factor, WAPDA hydel power stations are still capable to be run at their maximum generation capacities.

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LAUNCH OF CASA-1000 POWER PROJECT ON MAY 12

The leaders of four nations-Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan will gather in Tajikistan to launch the construction of the much-awaited CASA-1000 power project on May 12, 2016. Addressing a press conference, Tajikistan Ambassador Sherali S. Jononov also announced direct introduction of flights between Pakistan and Tajikistan, to improve people-to-people contacts and bilateral trade between the two countries. Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan have been pursuing the development of electricity trading arrangements and the establishment of a Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM). The initial plan was to export power in the range of 1,000 to 1,300 MW from the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The major share of the export will be used by Pakistan, and approximately 300 MW will be imported by Afghanistan. Ambassador Jononov said they had received confirmation from the Foreign Office that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would also attend the launching ceremony of CASA -1000 MW power import project to take place in a city near to Dushanbe. "President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev will also attend the launching ceremony of the project," he said, adding that it would be a ''peace line'' project which would connect neighbours in the region. He said the project would be completed in two years after the launch and total project cost stood at $1.2 billion. He said that Pakistan would get clean hydel energy at cheap rates to minimise energy crisis in Pakistan. The project will also lead to building close economic relations between neighbours - Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that Tajikistan is rich in hydel resources which has more than 1000 rivers and lakes and added that all legal, technical and financial formalities have been completed before the launch of the project. Responding to a question regarding security in Afghanistan, he said that Afghanistan is a sovereign country and has given sovereign guarantee to protect the transmission line passing through it. "We have two transmission lines from Tajikistan to Afghanistan for the last seventeen years and there have been no security issues," he said, adding that things are moving forward with focus on energy and trade in the region. He said that Tajikistan has offered investment opportunities to investors of Pakistan and these could be strengthened by enhancing air contacts. Among other sectors of the economy, he said the energy sector of Tajikistan has been showing sustainable growth for the last 15 years. During this period, hydro energy generation has been stable. In addition to big plants, he said, there are also 20 medium and 40 small hydro stations in remote mountain areas, with capacities ranging from 5 kilowatt (kwt) to 1,500 kwt. In Pakistan, the rate for firm energy is 13.2 US cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) and the rate for non-firm is 9.2 cents/kWh, while the generation cost in Afghanistan is estimated to be at least 6 cents/kWh based on the provided information. The electricity cost including all charges will be 9.35 cents per unit. Pakistan has been importing electricity for Gwadar area at a rate of 10 cents per unit. The project will not only alleviate electricity shortages in Pakistan but will also replace fuel-based electricity generation for Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will also establish Afghanistan as a viable transit country and offer transmission capacity for other countries during the off-peak season. He said it will also create a viable governance mechanism to build confidence between neighbours. He also announced the launch of direct flights between Pakistan and Tajikistan. He said it was a big achievement to enhance trade and people-to-people contacts between the two regions. He said it would also result in enhancing trade between the two countries and thereby enhancing people-to-people, education, culture and business contacts between the two nations. The representative of Somon Air of Tajikistan, Nadeem Z. Cheema, said first flight would start on May 6 from Lahore to Dushanbe. He said that there would be two flights a week. "In the second phase, we will start flights from Islamabad and Karachi after receiving an encouraging response," Cheema said. He said that each flight would have 4-5 tons of cargo facility and that implies traders would be able to export 20 tons of cargo every month.

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PRIVATE SECTOR: 2 THAR-BASED COAL-FIRED POWER PROJECTS APPROVED BY PPIB

The Board of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Tuesday approved two private sector indigenous coal-fired power projects of 600 MW in Thar( Sindh) Hub Power Company Limited will build a 330MW power project at block-II of Thar, while another 330 MW power project will be completed at the same block of Thar by Thal Power (Private) Limited. Presiding over the 105th meeting of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Mohammed Asif stated that while the immediate power requirements of the country are being catered through a mix of fuels, however for the medium- to long-term requirements of the country, the government is focusing and prioritising the use of indigenous resources like hydropower, local coal, wind and solar, etc. He said that a treasure of 175 billion tonnes of coal has been sitting idle at Thar for a long time and it is the first time in the history of the country that any government has mobilised resources to utilise it for power generation. He said Thar coal is attracting a large number of domestic and foreign Investors who are interested in setting up power generation plants. The Board also appreciated the achievements of financial close by 660 MW Engro Powergen last month which has now started construction activities. This is the first power project to be at this advanced stage based on the local Thar coal. Managing Director PPIB Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the Board on the current status of various ongoing power generation projects being handled by PPIB with a particular emphasis on projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He further explained that keeping in view the priority of the government , to provide relief to the people by summer next year fast track measures were adopted, and after following the mode of international competitive bidding, Atlas Power Ltd were considered qualified to develop a 220MW R-LNG based IPP at Sheikhupura, Punjab. The Board also approved submission of the proposal to Nepra for further processing as per Nepra regulations. In the current situation, the role of the CPEC is vital as thousands of megawatts will be available by 2018 which will bring an end to long lasting electricity crisis in the country. Currently, PPIB is facilitating ten projects of 11000 MW under the game-changer CPEC initiative. The Secretary Water and Power made a presentation to the Board on the government priorities vis a vis indigenous fuels for projects beyond 2018. In order to achieve an ''economic revolution'', Pakistan has to be self-reliant in the electricity generation for which government is already working on a number of projects - both in public and private sectors - to generate thousands of megawatts through the local resources available in the country, he said.

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CONVENTIONAL ENERGY RESOURCES: GOVERNMENT URGED TO FOCUS ON BIOTECHNOLOGY AS SUBSTITUTE

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the government to shift its focus from non-productive to the productive sectors like biotechnology which has immense potential to act as "fate-changer" as it is one of the best replacements of conventional energy resources. LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad in a statement on Tuesday said the renewable and sustainable energy resources are the best substitute to the conventional fuels and energy sources as the business community understands that bio-fuels will reduce our dependence on petroleum to some degree and enhance energy security. Likewise it will also contribute in rural economic development, he added. Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said the countries like USA, Brazil and China are leading consumers of ethanol. Many countries world over have gradually introduced flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV) which engines are designed to run on more than one fuel. In Brazil, for instance, 70 percent of all new cars sold now are FFV. He said that sources of deriving ethanol are corn, sugarcane, soybeans, palm oil etc. Europe has also progressed remarkably in this connection by utilising grain starch, sugar beets and rapeseeds etc. Further research and development has made it possible to use different kinds of wastes and herbs for bio-fuel production, LCCI President said. There is abundant availability of cultivable area in the shape of barren and waste land in our country. The government should encourage utilising this land for growing jatropha plant at a wider scale. We can extract non edible oil from this herb to produce bio-diesel. This can be used in vehicles by way of mixing up to 10 percent with diesel. It will certainly help to a great deal in bringing down the import of oil but also serve as an environment friendly source of energy, he added. He stressed the need for highlighting the importance of bio-fuel at national level and also projects this area as a profitable sector for national and foreign investors. It is high time that public and private sector must come up and join hands in order to utilise the untapped potential of bio-fuel and especially Punjab government should take initiative to utilise barren and waste land for bio-fuel production. He urged the government to provide biogas plants to the rural community at subsidised rates to promote alternate energy resources. Since more than 60 percent of country's exports belong to agriculture therefore biotechnology is of prime importance. It is very unfortunate that the country is getting no benefit of its bio-fuel potential while by reportedly next year neighbouring India would be fulfilling 20 percent of its total energy needs through bio-fuels. He urged the government to take measures on war footing to promote bio-fuels that would not only help government to overcome the energy crisis but would also reduce the oil import bill.

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PUNJAB GOVERNMENT FOCUSING ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES: MINISTER

Provincial Minister for Mines and Minerals, Sher Ali Khan said that Punjab government is focusing on alternative energy resources and spending sufficient amount for promotion of alternate energy resources. He said this while speaking at a conference on "Economical Fuels for Power Plants in Industries" held at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). He said that Punjab government is restructuring the mining sector as lack of modern technology is coming in the way of fully exploitation of coal mining. He urged the private sector to come forward and invest in mining sector that would be a great service to the country. LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that being an atomic power we should use our knowledge for power generation to get rid of the energy crisis. Mobilization of local resources is key to success therefore Pakistan should also avail full benefit from its indigenous resources for power generation like coal, solar, wind and hydel, he added. There is a dire need to shift to alternative energy resources as conventional resources are not only failed to fulfill the rising energy demand but also one of the biggest reasons of trade deficit. He said that dependence on thermal resources could cause huge damage to the economy if an oil price rises again in the international market. He said that shift to the alternative energy sources would bring down the import bill and would also balance the current account. He said that Pakistan has vast coal reserves that could be used for power generation. He said that modern technology has made possible to use all types of coal for power generation therefore urgent measures in this regard are need of the hour. "It is high time to adopt alternative energy solutions to address the shortage of energy in our country. Solar and wind energy are the best options but their high cost factor is hindering most of us", he added. LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that like the developed countries, the government should promote alternate energy resources on war footing. He said that Pakistan could produce over 100,000MW electricity through solar, wind and coal means. Bio energy is adaptable source that can be used to overcome electricity challenge besides making a considerable contribution to climate change phenomenon, he said. Biomass energy has the potential convert a wide variety of wastes into clean energy besides being substitution for diminishing global oil supplies, he added. Chairman of the Standing Committee Mian Fazal Ahmad said that in view of rising energy demand it is highly imperative to use cheaper fuels and indigenous coal for long term benefits to national economy. With an estimated coal reserves of over 185 billion tons, Pakistan ranks sixth among coal-rich countries but yet coal's potential has not yet been exploited adequately. He said industry should be facilitated through small power generation power plants from alternative energy resources and called for legislation in this regard. The other experts were of the view that bio energy could play a very vital role in production of carbon-neutral fuels of high quality. It could address many environmental issues, especially global warming and greenhouse gases emissions, and foster sustainable development among poor communities. Biomass fuel sources are readily available in rural and urban areas of all countries.

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