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News Headlines for the month of
SEPTEMBER 2016

PAKISTAN, MYANMAR POWER PROJECTS: CHINA-LED AIIB APPROVES $320 MILLION IN LOANS

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved loans totalling $320 million to energy projects aiming to ease severe power shortages in Myanmar and Pakistan, the bank said on Thursday. A $300-million loan will fund expansion of a hydropower project in Pakistan, co-financed with the World Bank, and a loan of $20 million went to a power plant in Myanmar co-financed with other lenders, the bank said in a statement. "With the approval of two new projects, we are well on our way to meeting our target to extend financing of $1.2 billion in 2016," said President Jin Liqun, adding that the move met a core mandate of backing green and cost-effective infrastructure. The bank has previously co-financed projects such as a slum renovation in Indonesia and highway construction in Pakistan and Tajikistan. Crisis-hit Mongolia plans to pitch a number of railway projects to the AIIB as it steps up efforts to attract investment and boost trade, Reuters reported this month.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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SIGNIFICANCE OF LONG-TERM LNG DEAL HIGHLIGHTED

Qatargas and Global Energy Group on Thursday commemorated a 20-year long-term LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA). Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif witnessed the ceremony held at the Prime Minister''s House. Qatari delegation was led by Saad Sherida S J Al-Kaabi, President & CEO, Qatar Petroleum, Khalid Khalifa Al-Thani, CEO, Qatargas, and senior management of Qatargas, along with Federal Ministers and senior government officials of Pakistan, Heads of Diplomatic Mission Chiefs have attended. In addition to Qatargas, other parties supporting LNG supply into Pakistan with Global Energy Group also attended the ceremony, including ExxonMobil, Total, Hoegh LNG, STFA and Standard Chartered Bank. The delivery of LNG to Pakistani buyers by Global Energy Group will start on first half of 2018. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed the dignitaries from Qatar very warmly, and thanked them for their continued support to Pakistan including supply of LNG under government-to-government process earlier, and now, under private-to-private process between Qatargas and Global Energy Infrastructure Limited (GEIL). Petroleum Minister said that one of the first and foremost challenges of the government, when they came into power, was the energy shortages. He said Pakistan now had a constrained deficit of 3bcfd, which required both public and private LNG projects and initiatives. He said the government had created the policy framework and investor-friendly environment for more private investment into Pakistan in LNG infrastructure and supply. He said Global Energy Group''s project was testament to the pro-business policies of the government. The dignitaries from Qatar Petroleum and Qatargas were welcomed and thanked by all parties, for their continued support for Pakistan. Ahmet Caliskan, Chairman of Global Energy Group thanked all those present at the momentous occasion and said the Group was happy to play their part in contributing to the energy sufficiency of Pakistan. GEI Pakistan (GEIP), the local company of the Group, is setting up a LNG re-gasification terminal at Port Qasim LNG Zone, on a site procured from the Authority. The terminal will be completed in the first half of 2018. Following its completion, LNG procured from Qatargas under the said agreement, will be imported into Pakistan and re-gassed to meet demands of the local market for the next 20 years. This agreement represents the single largest private international contract to be signed for Pakistan. It is an exemplary foreign private investment initiative to supplement the initiatives of Government of Pakistan in addressing the energy shortages in the country. The presence of the international business community reflects their confidence in the Government''s investment friendly policies. The company trusts that this deal will help the economy of Pakistan, create jobs and enhance production capacity of the private sector.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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PEDO COMPLETES 100 MINI-MICRO HYDEL PROJECTS

Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) has completed 100 mini micro hydel projects in the backward and electricity deprived and by the end of next year total 356 mini micro power projects will be completed in these areas. These were stated by Sahibzada Saeed Ahmed, the chairman Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) while its 15th Board of Directors meeting held on Wednesday. The meeting was also attended by Secretary Finance Ali Raza Bhutta, Secretary Energy & Power Engr. Naeem Khan, Additional Secretary Home Atta ur Rehman, PESCO Chief Anwar ul Haq Yousafzai, Ex-chairman SCCI Fuad Ishaq, Latif Khan, Sikandar Khan, Abdullah Shah and CEO PEDO Akbar Ayub Khan. The meeting discussed the financial and management affairs of the department in detailed and examined the pace of work at various ongoing hydropower projects. During the meeting various issues of PEDO's employees were also discussed in detailed. The BoD members also placed their suggestion for more speedy works on project sites and stressed the early restoration of flood damaged Reshun Power Station at district Chitral. It was informed that three hydropower projects namely Machai, Ranolia and Daral Khwar HPPs having generation capacity of 56 MW will start power generation during this year. The meeting showed its satisfaction over the freeze accounts of PEDO through FBR and recent decision to open these. It is agreed that soon this issue will be highlighted through provincial government with federal government and find out its early solution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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PAKISTAN TO OFFER TWO LNG TENDERS BY OCTOBER, WORKING ON GOVERNMENT DEAL

Pakistan plans to issue two international tenders for 750,000 tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) each in the coming month, the head of the country's state-owned LNG company said, as the South Asian nation seeks to alleviate chronic energy shortfalls. Pakistan's economy has long been hamstrung by crippling energy shortages, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under pressure to end blackouts before the 2018 general election. Adnan Gilani, head of Pakistan LNG, a new state-owned company set up to manage procurement and supply of gas, said firms from Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Qatar, the United States and Azerbaijan are interested in the two tenders. "We had over half a dozen participants bidding in our last international tender and expect more than twice that number this time around," Gilani told Reuters on Monday. Gilani said the specifics of the tenders are being finalised, but they will probably be a 5-year and a 15-year offer, as well as a possible spot purchase. Pakistan has ploughed billions of dollars into LNG infrastructure, including construction of a second LNG import terminal and pipelines linking the port city of Karachi with Lahore in the Punjab region, the nation's industrial heartland. Pakistan has been earmarked as an up-and-coming demand outlet for the oversupplied LNG market. Qatar, which signed two term supply contracts with Pakistan this year, is the country's largest LNG supplier. Pakistan is heavily reliant on expensive furnace oil imports to plug energy shortfalls and officials expect the LNG imports to lower the cost of energy in a nation of 190 million people. Gilani said that Pakistan would also negotiate separate government-to-government LNG deals. "We have interest from more than five sovereigns to supply LNG to Pakistan," he said. Gilani said an impending glut in global LNG production means Pakistan expects bids by international companies to be far below those offered by trading house Gunvor, which won the last international tender. Though Gilani would not discuss financial details, traders say Gunvor offered a delivered price of 13.37 percent of a barrel of crude oil for the 60-cargo supply tender between 2016 and 2020. "We expect a substantial price decline because of the global supply glut and new production coming on line in the short term," he said.

Copyright The News, 2016

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K-E TO CONSTRUCT FIRST GRID STATION UNDER TP-1000 PLAN

K-Electric to initiate construction of its first grid station under TP-1000 (Transmission Enhancement Plan) with an estimated cost of USD 13 million. The ground breaking scheduled during the last quarter of 2016 (Sep-Oct) is the first of many milestones to come as K-Electric continues to serve the people of Karachi. The chosen site of Old Golimar Station, will ensure further enhanced and more reliable power supply for both industrial as well as domestic consumers in the SITE area besides relieving load on the existing grids at Haroonabad and Mauripur. TP-1000 Transmission Enhancement Plan of $400 million is progressing swiftly in collaboration with Siemens Germany/Pakistan and Shanghai Electric of China. Completion timeline of the project is over 3 years, and currently manufacturing of the equipment is underway after finalising base designs. KE teams and respective vendors are all working under a central project office for effective co-ordination. The project aims to add 1000 MVA in transmission and distribution infrastructure and will ensure a smoother and more reliable supply of power for K-Electric customers in Karachi and its adjoining areas. At the launch of TP-1000 held in February, Minister of Water & Power Khawaja Asif in a message congratulated the management of K-Electric on progressing swiftly with the project and appreciated the recent customer-centric initiatives of the utility and recognised the role of increased power generation and its effective transmission in contributing to the economic growth of the country through increased industrial activity. On this occasion, Spokesperson K-Electric said, "The continuous stream of investment from K-Electric reinforces our long-term commitment to Pakistan and shows confidence in future growth in the power sector. The investment will contribute to the development of our infrastructure and subsequently to facilitate our valued customers.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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50 MEGAWATTS WIND POWER PROJECT ACHIEVES COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS

Metro Power Company Limited ("Project") a 50MW wind power generation plant, located in Jhimpir, Thatta, Sindh has achieved its Commercial Operations Date on September 16, 2016. Since then the project is dispatching electricity to Central Power Purchaser Agency (CPPA) as an Independent Power Producer. Wind power is an indigenous resource in the province of Sindh, electricity generated through this technology reduces the impact of variable transportation cost and imported fuel costs such as LNG & HFO on electricity tariffs for longer periods. Project aims at providing a sustainable tariff at a fixed price for a 20+ years. It is noteworthy, that the private sector has come forth to tackle the challenges currently being faced in the energy sector due to electricity shortage throughout the country. Danish Iqbal, CEO also thanked the AEDB, Government of Sindh and Central Power Purchasing Authority in providing full support to allow project to reach this major milestone. The project has been sponsored by leading Pakistani business family Iqbal Ali Mohamed & Family, Infraco Asia Development Pte Ltd out of Singapore and International Finance Corporation (IFC). The Project has installed state of the art twenty 2.5 MWs Wind turbine made in Germany and European made Balance of Plant.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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10 BIOGAS PLANTS INSTALLED NEAR KEENJHAR LAKE

World Wildlife Fund Pakistan (WWF) in collaboration with Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has set up 10 biogas plants at localities near Keenjhar Lake in District Thatta. The project is aimed at providing alternate energy to local communities who lacked basic facilities for cooking. The biogas supply will help reduce pressure on the forest. WWF's Director for Sindh and Balochistan Ali Dehlvi said the project would help reduce human dependency and pressure on the nature. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the project at Keenjhar Lake, he said, internationally, some 200 locations were identified for protection of environment on preferential bases, of them Keenjhar ranked 40. WWF has been playing its role to protect the Mother Nature. The 50 year project, he said, was initiated in 2006 and would continue till 2056. Shehbaz Aslam, head of corporate communications, SSGC, said that initially some 10 small size biogas plants were installed in two villages on experimental basis with 7 plants in Yousuf Hilayo Goth while three at Ramazan Gopang village. The biogas plants cost some Rs2.8 million with around Rs 150,000 for each plant. It took some six to eight months for completion, he added. "The project is successful, as the local people are quite happy; they are involved and taking ownership. The both organisations have intention to increase the number of plants in future," he said. Anees, a middle aged man, owner of one of the plants, praised the SSGC and WWF for ensuring cheaper fuel facility at his doorstep. "Earlier, we had to go miles to bring woods to burn and use them as fuel. It was expensive and consuming more time and energy. Thanks to both organisations for wonderful plants. Gas pressure as fine as we can cook three times food easily," he said. Every 2nd day, you have to put some 5kg animal dung and same quantity of water into the tank. It will produce gas automatically; he said adding that women were also happy and now free to make their handicrafts activities instead of wasting time in collecting woods from bushes. He said people were coming to them and desired to avail the facility. Kamal Ahmad, Keenjhar Conservation Network president said the facility was environment-friendly. He said the best quality fertiliser was produced from these biogas plants that were being used in our fields. Munawar Hilayo, a representative of the villagers, requested the WWF and SSGC to expand their projects to other localities as well. He assured his full cooperation in this regard. He said it was need of hours to switch to alternate energy because nearby forest was fast depleting due to massive cutting by residents for wooden fuel. He also complained of inferior material found in some of the plants. He urged the WWF and SSGC to award contracts to professionals. The officials assured him to address his grievance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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WAPDA CHAIRMAN FOR TIMELY COMPLETION OF NEELUM JHELUM PROJECT

Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain (Retd) has sought concerted efforts to complete the Neelum Jhelum hydropower project well in time. The chairman WAPDA made a visit to the strategically important 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project on Friday which is under construction in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. He said completion of the under-construction projects in the shortest possible time is a must to rid the country of electricity shortages and stabilise the national economy. He inspected the construction activities on the weir site located in Nauseri - 41 kilometres east of Muzaffarabad besides the main dam, composite dam, desander, and sedimentation basin and debris channel. Later, he visited the power house site at Chattar Kalas located some 22 kilometres south of Muzaffarabad to inspect the underground power house, surge shaft and transformers hall. He also reviewed electro-mechanical works for installation of power generating units and the transformers. Speaking on the occasion, he appreciated the pace and quality of construction work for completion of the project. It may be noted that the construction work is being carried out simultaneously on three sites of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project. It has four generating units with capacity of 242.25 MW each, totalling 969 MW.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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GAS RESERVES DISCOVERED AT MATIARI

Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) has discovered gas reserves at exploratory well Bashar X-1 ST located in District Matiari, Sindh. PPL has working interest of 65 percent. During testing, gas flowed at a rate of 8.7mmcfd. "We estimate this discovery is likely to have an annual earning impact of Rs 0.15 per share," Khurram Shehzad, a senior analyst said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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IRAN DESIROUS OF BECOMING PART OF CPEC

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday discussed with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani possibilities for bilateral co-operation in the field of energy, especially oil, gas and electricity. President Rouhani lauded the vision of the Prime Minister for translating CPEC into a reality and expressed his desire to be part of the mega project. "The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan''s energy shortages in the coming years," said a press release of the Pakistan Mission to the UN."The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan''s energy shortages in the coming years". The prime minister was assisted by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, among others. The two leaders had last met during President Rouhani''s visit to Islamabad this year. The lifting of international sanctions against Iran has paved the way for resumption of economic relations between the two countries with a view to realizing the true potential of bilateral trade. Current trade volume remains low at US $268 million per annum. In this regard, PM Sharif underscored the need for remaining engaged at expert levels to remove whatever technical delays that continue to hold back resumption of full economic co-operation between the two countries. The Iranian President, according to the press release, said that Pakistan''s security is security of Iran. Opportunities for bilateral co-operation in the field of energy, especially oil, gas and electricity were also discussed. The two sides noted that progress on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and electricity import from Iran would help overcome Pakistan''s energy shortages in the coming years. The Iranian President said that Iran can install a power plant on border with Pakistan to supply electricity. "We consider Pakistan''s economic development as our development," the president was quoted as saying. "There is a need for defence co-operation between Iran and Pakistan as there is a history of defence co-operation between the two countries," the president added. "There is also immense need for co-operation between Iran and Pakistan in the field of science and technology; we need to benefit from each others strong points in science and technology." The Prime Minister said that the hearts of the people of Pakistan and Iran beat together. "Iran is a brotherly country. Our interests are same; we need to further consolidate our economic co-operation," the prime minister said. Connectivity projects were recognised by both Pakistan and Iran as vital to the progress of the region, it was pointed out. In particular, according to the press release, the two leaders reiterated the complimentarity between Gwadar and Chabahar sea ports that could boost regional trade exponentially in the decades ahead. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he will nominate two focal persons who will finalise energy projects with Iran in coming days. Border management and security were also discussed, it said. The Prime Minister apprised President Rouhani of Indian brutalities in Kashmir, particularly in the past two months. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been victims of heinous acts of state-sponsored terrorism at the hands of Indian occupation forces. The prime minister shared the latest situation in Kashmir, which continues to remain tense in the wake of the uprising that has surfaced in response to Indian barbaric acts in the valley. PM Sharif also stressed on the need for building unity and cohesion within the Muslim world, particularly at a time of such great turmoil. The Iranian President said that the future of Iran and Pakistan is bright. The President extended an invitation to the prime minister to visit Iran who accepted it with pleasure, saying he has great affection for Iranian brothers.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2016

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ENERGY SECTOR: SINDH CHIEF MINISTER INVITES SAUDI INVESTMENT

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday said that there is a vast potential of investment in energy sector and invited Saudi investors to grab the opportunity under any mode which include Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) or Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. This, he said, while talking to Saudi Arabia's Consul General Mohammad Abdullah Abdul Daim who called on him at the Chief Minister House here to discuss investment opportunities and to invite him for their national day, said a press release issued here. The Chief Minister said that the investors of Saudi Arabia have vast opportunities to invest in Sindh. "We have coal deposits to generate electricity and have vast wind and solar energy corridors where power generation plants could be installed within a year," he said and added that the investment of Saudi Arabia in Sindh would be blessings for the people of Sindh. The Consul General said that he would take up this matter with the business community of Saudi Arabia. He also requested for a detailed investment opportunities catalogue so that the same could be discussed with investors. The Sindh Chief Minister issued necessary instructions in this regard. The Consul General said that perhaps Karachi is the only city in the world which wakes up all the night. "Whenever you see people are moving here and there, restaurants remained open and busy with customers," he said and added "I love Karachi."The Chief Minister said that he is working to develop this city. "I am sure I would restore the glory of Karachi and make it City of Lights again," he said and added "it is possible because the people of this city love Karachi and trust him." Murad Ali Shah took up the issue of Pakistanis stuck up in Saudi Arabia with the Consul General. He said that the Saudi government had constituted a committee to resolve the issue. "It would be settled within next few weeks," he said. He presented a copy of the Holy Quran to the Sindh Chief Minister while the Chief Minister presented Ajrak and memento of the Sindh Chief Minister to the guest.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2016

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WWF-PAKISTAN, SSGC JOIN HANDS TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

"Biogas energy has multiple benefits. It is not only the source of clean energy but reduces health hazards for women." This was stated by speakers during an inauguration ceremony of biogas units held at Keenjhar Lake, Thatta. WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGC) has installed 10 biogas plants under a six months project 'Installation of Household Biogas Plants in Thatta' at Muhammad Yousif Hilayo and Ramzan Gopang villages of Keenjhar Lake, Thatta district. Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz Islam, Head of Corporate Communications, SSGC shared that those units had been established as a pilot project and would be expanded on larger scale later on. He said the company was exploring to provide clean energy sources to the communities which were entirely dependant on forest resources. He also said that in order to ensure the success of the plants, community ownership and involvement had been ensured through mobilization and constant community interaction. "This initiative is aimed at improving the living conditions of local communities and bringing about positive change in their lives," he added. While, Ali Dehlavi Interim Head Sindh and Balochistan, WWF-Pakistan shared that biogas was an easily available source of alternative energy that had proved to be beneficial for rural communities. He said biogas did not only reduce pressure on forest resources but had positive health impacts particularly for women. Anis Hilayo, member of the Keenjhar Conservation Network, said that though that energy was cost efficient for the residents but its benefits for women were amazing. He shared that with that facility women were able to free two hours a day in which they could produce handicrafts and sell them at a profit. With this new facility, residents are also saving their money which was earlier used on purchasing wood or LPG from market. He showed strong interest for more plants for betterment of the people and environment. While, Naveed Ali Soomro, Project Coordinator, WWF-Pakistan said that with installation of biogas units crops productivity had improved as slurry, a by-product of the biogas, is considered to a rich fertilizer. He was of the view that burning of timber fuel produces carbon emissions in environment which could be reduced through this eco-friendly clean energy source.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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ECC MAY APPROVE IRAN POWER DEAL TODAY

A meeting of the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is likely to approve today (Friday) Ministry of Water and Power contract for purchase of 74 MW electricity from Tavanir Iran and opening of HBL branch in China. Sources said that meeting of the ECC has been convened by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar with three point agenda items with possibility of some other to be circulated during the meeting for consideration and approval. Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood would brief the meeting on economic indicators of various sectors of the economy from inflation to availability of commodities stock to level of foreign direct investment in the country. Finance Division has also moved a proposal for approval of remittance of capital for Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Urumqi Branch, China to facilitate business community and China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. Water and Power Division has also moved a summary to the ECC for approval of its contract with Tavanir Iran for purchase of 74 MW of electricity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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WORLD BANK APPROVES $390 MILLION AF FOR POWER EXPANSION GENERATION

The World Bank approved Wednesday an Additional Financing (AF) of $390 million to help sustainable expansion of Pakistan''s electricity generation capacity. The AF under Tarbela Fourth Extension Hydropower Project will add 1,410 Megawatt (MW) of environment friendly, renewable, and low cost electricity generation during the high-demand summer season. The loan finances the installation of a power house at the existing Tunnel Five that will enhance the total capacity at Tarbela to 6,298 MW. "Increased supply at competitive prices from Tunnel Five will support economic growth for all enterprises that use electricity, regardless of size or sector", says Illango Patchamuthu, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. "In addition to reducing load shedding, it will also contribute to long term energy security." The construction of power house on Tunnel Five would proceed in parallel to the ongoing work on Tunnel Four in a manner that it would remain operational until the construction of power house on Tunnel Four is completed and available for water releases for irrigation purposes. The project also includes the laying of about 50 kilometres long transmission line for carrying additional generation at Tarbela to the national grid. "In addition to maximising the use of existing facilities and meeting the power needs of the country, the project will also introduce a pilot floating solar power plant over a part of the reservoir area," says Masood Ahmad, Task Team Leader of the Project. "The successful completion of the pilot and its possible expansion over the rest of the reservoir surface area could lead to an additional generation capacity of 5,000 MW of solar power." The project will be financed from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a variable spread and 20 years maturity including a 6-year grace period. This will be the first World Bank supported project in South Asia to be jointly financed with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) who would be providing $300 million.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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SURVEYS SHOW 185 BILLION TONS OF COAL RESERVES IN COUNTRY

The recent geological investigations have shown that 185 billion tons of coal reserves exist in different parts of the country, which can be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation. "More than 184 billion tons deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb," official sources told APP. Coal is primarily classified into four major categories, or 'ranks' like lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. One of the most valuable content of coal is its carbon content which supplies most of its heating value. The sources informed that further investigations were being carried out to explore and evaluate coal deposits in Musakheil, Kingri and Toisar Basin, Musakheil district Balochistan. They said the government had made effective policies to attract investment in the coal mining sector to achieve self-reliance in the energy sector. Answering a question, they said the mining and quarrying sector grew by 0.6 per cent in 2015-16. "Estimates suggest there are copper reserves of 1.9 billion tons and 11.2 million ounces of gold in different localities." They admitted that the primary reason for not getting maximum benefit of the natural resources was the application of out-dated technologies, poor management and inadequate capital besides security situation in some areas where the bulk of the mineral resources were located. The mineral sector of Pakistan is spread over 600,000 square kilometres and has 92 known minerals; while 52 are commercially exploited. "The geological mapping of 3,200 square kilometres on 1:50,000 scales have been completed in different parts of the country, which included coverage of 640 square kilometres each of Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern Areas and Gilgit-Baltistan. Collection of the data, geological maps, top sheets, and digitalisation of the maps is under process," they said. Presently, the sources said above 5,000 operational mines and 50,000 small and medium enterprises were producing average 68.52 million tons per year and providing direct employment to 300,000 workers.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2016

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HYDEL ENERGY PROJECTS: SHAHBAZ, WAPDA CHIEF DISCUSS PACE OF PROGRESS

Chairman Wapda Lt-Gen Muzammil Hussain (tetd) met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here on Sunday. Pace of progress on hydel energy projects came under discussion during the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government is making strenuous efforts for overcoming energy crisis. He said that besides traditional sources, energy generating projects through alternative sources are being completed speedily for eliminating energy crisis. He said that thousands of megawatt electricity will be added to national grid with the completion of different energy projects by the end of 2017. Shahbaz said the present government is determined to eliminate energy crisis, provide cheaper and abundant electricity to the masses and overcoming load shedding. The Chairman Wapda informed the Chief Minister about the progress on hydel projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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OIL, GAS PRODUCTION SOARS TO 50,000 BPD, 400 MMCFD, RESPECTIVELY: KP CM

Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak Saturday said Khyber Pakhtunkhawa was producing more than 53 percent of national oil and its production had jumped from 30,000 barrels per day to 50,000 barrels per day while natural gas production had soared from 300 million to 400 million cubic feet per day. He was presiding over a meeting regarding advantages and strength of the province to be exploited for the benefit of the people and rapid development of the province. Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, MD SNGPL Arbab Muhammad Saqib and other concerned officials of the provincial government attended the meeting. The Chief Minister said the province was moving to produce and provide cheap electricity to investors in the industrial zones of the province that was pre-requisite for rapid industrialisation. The Chief Minister said his government would use natural gas for the establishment of three power stations at Kohat, Rashkai and Hattar Industrial Estate each producing 225 MW of electricity and the electricity produced would be offered to industries in the three industrial estates on concessional rates. He assured that the provincial government would be a sovereign guarantor in order to attract and facilitate investors in the province. His government had already offered unmatched incentives to the investors and facilitating them through one window operation. He said the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa was replete with unlimited natural resources and his government produced an enabling environment for foreign and domestic investors to harness these resources for the expeditious development of the province. Khattak said his government had taken numerous steps to encourage investments in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, especially in the southern districts for oil and gas and northern districts for Hydel power projects. The ultimate goal was to scientifically harness the advantages of the province in order to track the province towards rapid growth and expand its resource base to emerge as financially independent federating unit of the country. The Chief Minister said that Cylinder gas LPG production jumped from 10 to 500 tons per day in last 2 1/2 years and added that and an oil refinery was being setup in the southern districts and for this the government had been facilitating the investors. He said in 2 1/2 years the province enhanced production from 30,000 to 50,000 barrels per day and the target stood as 2 lakh barrels per day and the government would create room for 5 refineries. Furthermore, his government got allocated 100 million cubic feet of gas from the Federal Government after putting a two years fight. This would lead to install 3 power plants in the three industrial estates. He also revealed his Government was working to establish a 5 lakh tons per annum Urea fertiliser Plant in Hangu as well. Pervez Khattak said that his government was far ahead in securing the rights of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa in the oil and gas sector compared to any other province and even it was helping other provinces and FATA to develop oil and gas sector and it was all out to make Pakistan self-sufficient in energy and enhance the Energy Security. Due to enabling environment from 2 drilling rigs in 2013, his government during its tenure facilitated 10 rigs working in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa against the total 31 rigs in Pakistan that meant 1/3 work was happening in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, he mentioned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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BUSINESS COMMUNITY CALLS FOR IMPORT OF IRANIAN GAS

The business community of Southern Punjab have demanded of the federal government to make efforts for import of gas from Iran as soon as possible to surmount the prevailing energy crisis which continues to haunt masses and economy. Alongside, the business community also demanded of the Government to expand LNG import project. President of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Fareed Mughis Sheikh vehemently condemned the threat of Afghan Government to cease the access of Pakistan to Central Asian states (CAS) if Pakistan didn't allow the trade between Afghanistan and India via Wagha border. He alerted that energy import from central Asia would remain under threat therefore government must reconsider TAPI gas pipeline and transmission line of KASA 1000 project because they would pass through volatile Afghanistan being ruled by pro-Indian politicians and militants which involved huge risk. He said that economic corridor (CPEC) was a fate-changing project but it was not acceptable to some powers. He said many powerful countries had ganged up to destroy this project and they would use two neighbouring countries with all of their resource to damage CPEC hence that would be a challenge for Pakistan. "A weak, corrupt and pro-India government in Afghanistan will be in a position to interrupt or discontinue supply of gas and electricity to blackmail Pakistan for providing land-route to India which will be suicidal for Pakistan," he noted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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KP'S 56 MEGAWATTS HYDROPOWER PROJECTS TO BECOME FUNCTIONAL ANYTIME SOON

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is engaged in early completion of energy projects while three hydropower projects having generation capacity of 56 MW will be completed during the current year and start generation of electricity soon. These hydel projects will be proved not only profitable source of income for province but also a demanded item for controlling current energy crisis. About 100 mini micro hydel projects have been completed in the backward areas wherein people are deprived of electricity. These were stated by Sahibzada Saeed Ahmed, the chairman Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) while its 14th Board of Directors meeting held Wednesday. The meeting was also attended by Secretary Energy & Power Engr. Naeem Khan, Additional Secretary, Home, Ataur Rehman, PESCO Chief Anwar ul Haq Yousafzai, Senator Nauman Wazir, former president KPCCI Fuad Ishaq, Latif Khan and CEO PEDO Akbar Ayub Khan. The old members of PEDO's Board of Directors welcomed the newly appointed chairman board and some members. The meeting discussed the financial and management affairs of the department in detailed and examined the pace of work at various ongoing hydropower projects. During the meeting annual budget was approved for PEDO. The BoD members also placed their suggestion for more speedy works on project sites and proposed future planning. It was informed that three hydropower projects namely Machai, Ranolia and Daral Khwar HPPs having generation capacity of 56 MW will start power generation during this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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GOVT TO OFFER 32 OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION BLOCKS THIS YEAR

The government plans to launch a new oil and gas exploration round this year, offering 32 blocks in different part of the country, sources told APP on Saturday. They said the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources is in the process to award 32 new blocks to oil and gas exploration companies, operating in the country. The clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 more exploration blocks to E&P Companies through bidding process,” sources said. The government, under the petroleum policy 2012, had already awarded 46 blocks for oil and gas discoveries. Besides, sources said the ministry had also awarded 70 Supplemental Agreements (SAs) for conversion to Petroleum Concessions Agreements (PCAs) aimed at expediting oil and gas exploration activities in various potential areas of the country. “As many as 70 Sas, covering 94 leases have been executed while remaining applications are also being reviewed and finalised on a fast track basis,” they added. Sources said Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy 2012, as amended in July 2013, provided an incentive to existing licence lease holders for the conversion. “The agreements had been finalised in consultation with all stakeholders including from the petroleum sector as well as ministries of finance and ministry of waw and justice,” sources said. The sources said licences of all oil and gas companies, failing to start exploration work as per their obligations would be revoked. “The government had tightened the noose around non performing E&P companies, having the licences and revoked around 16 such permits recently,” they added. They said that the action was being taken against the inactive E&P companies holding licences for last several years without any ground work. “Licenses were not canceled instantly rather such companies were given notices and provided an opportunity to present their cases and all process was completed in a transparent manner before revoking licences,” sources said. The government has been on a drive to lure foreign investors to its energy sector in an effort to address growing energy demand. But attracting exploration investment has become increasingly difficult as global oil prices have tumbled over the past two years. Petroluem minister last month said the country received an investment of Rs1.6 trillion in oil and gas exploration sector during a short span of time. A total of 82 oil and gas discoveries were made during the last three fiscal years. The production from 45 out of 82 discoveries had already been started, whereas necessary work over 37 discoveries was being carried out by exploration and production companies. The country is a net energy importer and local production meets only 15 percent demand at 100,000 bpd. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s local exploration and production companies are vying to acquire several relinquished blocks by the foreign oil and gas investors on low crude prices and slowing global demand. The country’s energy sector has seen a string of asset cuts in the recent months, with companies reeling from crude prices that have improved little since hitting a 12-year low in January. Several multi-national E&P and drilling companies have finalised their departure from Pakistan. At least four foreign companies have confirmed their divestment from Pakistan, including the UK-based Tullow and Premier Oil, Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton and Austrian OMV.

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KP GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO RESTORE RESHUN HYDROPOWER STATION IN CHITRAL

KP government has decided to restore the flood damaged Reshun hydropower station of 4.2MW as well as to complete the ongoing power projects at the earliest in Chitral district. The decision was taken in a high level meeting of technical committee, PEDO held under the chairmanship of Secretary Energy & Power, Engr Naeem Khan. The meeting also reviewed the progress of work at flood damaged Reshun power station. The meeting was also attended by Chairman Technical Committee Engr Latif Khan and other officers. The committee has showed its concern over the slow pace of work at Reshun HPS and decided to start the restoration work of the project after Eid holidays and said that no compromise would be made over delay tactics in the early restoration of Reshun hydropower station. During the meeting, the chair was informed that PEDO had installed solar panels to 1000 houses and 350 KVA heavy duty generators from its own resources. Chairman Technical Committee Engr Latif Khan informed the meeting that members of the committee would soon visit the project site in order to purchase machinery for the project. Secretary Energy and Power directed the concerned officers of PEDO to work day and night to restore the Reshun power station soon.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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KUWAIT WINS APPROVAL FOR SETTING UP OIL REFINERY IN BALOCHISTAN

Economic managers of Pakistan have given the go-ahead to Kuwait Petroleum Corporation for setting up an oil refinery in the coastal area of Balochistan – a welcome investment initiative for the largely under-developed province, which will reduce the need for import of refined petroleum products in the country. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the highest economic decision-making body, took the decision in a meeting held on September 7 in response to Kuwait Petroleum’s interest in pouring capital into setting up a refinery in Balochistan, said an official aware of developments. The ECC also decided to seek an extension in the timeframe for oil import credit facility from three to four months in an effort to ease pressure on the country’s foreign currency reserves. It directed Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the state oil marketing giant, to try and persuade Kuwait Petroleum to extend the existing credit facility from 90 to 120 days or even more. In another decision, the ECC permitted import of furnace oil and jet fuel from Kuwait without resorting to competitive bidding. At present, PSO imports diesel from the Gulf Arab state on 90-day deferred payment. A representative of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, who was present in the ECC huddle, said before the year 2000, Pakistan purchased diesel from Kuwait under a long-term contract with the Gulf state’s government. However, in the wake of market deregulation, Pakistan government in 2001-02 asked PSO to enter into a fuel supply contract with Kuwait Petroleum. Immediately after that, the two sides inked an agreement for the sale and purchase of high-speed diesel only with payment guarantees from the government of Pakistan. Now, this agreement has been in place for the last around 15 years. Earlier, Kuwait Petroleum had expressed interest in exporting furnace oil and jet fuel as part of the existing arrangement and was looking to install an oil refinery in the coastal area of Balochistan with storage facilities. “Pakistan and Kuwait have an old bilateral relationship in terms of oil trade and Kuwait Petroleum is a time-tested supplier, well-reputed for the most economical supplies, product quality and supply security,” an official told the ECC meeting. The Ministry of Petroleum and PSO suggested that furnace oil and jet fuel could be included in the existing sale and purchase contract by making an addition to it. This could be done by invoking rule-5 of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules 2004, which provides for waiving mandatory public procurement procedures in case of an international or inter-governmental commitment of the federal government. The ministry took up the matter with the PPRA and Law and Justice Division for legal advice. Later, the PPRA endorsed the proposal. The Law Division, on its part, pointed out that the contract was linked with the agreement between Pakistan government and Kuwait Petroleum and new products could be added. Therefore, it would be treated and read as an integral part of the existing contract. After examining the proposal from legal point of view, the Law Division cleared it subject to meeting all formalities.

Published in The Express Tribune, 2016

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720 MEGAWATTS HYDROPOWER PROJECT PPIB, KAROT POWER COMPANY SIGN IMPLEMENTATION AGREEMENT

Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) and Karot Power Company has signed Implementation Agreement for development and operation of 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project. Managing Director, PPIB, Shah Jahan Mirza on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and CEO Karot Power Company, Sheng Zhendong executed the Implementation Agreement here on Thursday in the PPIB office. The run of the river, priority project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor is located at River Jhelum on the boundary between AJK (Distt Kotli) and Punjab (Distt Rawalpindi) having capability to generate clean, reliable and affordable 3.249 Billion units of electricity per year for the national grid. As per the feasibility study, the estimated cost of the project is $1698 million. Managing Director, PPIB said that the Government attaches top priority to generate electricity at affordable prices. In line with the policy of the government, the PPIB is handling & facilitating the development of 26 projects of cumulative 14000 MW comprising hydropower and coal based projects to meet the future energy requirements. In addition, 3600 MW RLNG based projects in public sector are also being facilitated by the PPIB. The project is being developed by Karot Power Company Private Limited, comprising of M/s Three Gorges South Asia Investment Limited (TGSAIL), a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation, China- CTGC, owner and operator of world's biggest hydropower project ie 22500 MW China Three Gorges hydropower project, and Associated Technologies (Pvt) Ltd of Pakistan. The Project is being implemented on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis under provisions of power policy 2002. After commissioning/ completion of construction, the Project Company will operate and maintain the Project for thirty (30) years after which it will be transferred to the Government of Punjab at a notional price of one (01) Rupee. Further, during operation and maintenance of the Project, the Government of Punjab as well Government of AJ&K will receive 1380 million PKR per annum on account of water use charges.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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NAWAZ VOWS SUPPORT TO SINDH''S ENERGY PLANS

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said his government would provide full support to Thar coal power projects to overcome electricity shortages in Sindh. Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of business community in presence of chief minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah at the residence of Chairman Board of Investment Dr Miftah Ismail here on Thursday. Nawaz listened to the complaints of business community. During the meeting, the chief minister expressed his concern on prolonged load-shedding in Sindh, particularly in rural areas. Syed Murad Ali Shah reiterated his stance that the resolution of serious power crisis lies in Sindh. "We have huge coal deposits to generate electricity and also Sindh has vast wind and solar energy corridors," he said and added just Sindh needs the support and cooperation of the prime minister to generate electricity. The prime minister assured the chief minister that he would extend his full support to Thar coal and renewable energy projects and has already directed Ministry of Water & Power to decide tariff and other related issues. He also assured Sindh government that he would direct the concerned authorities to reduce load - shedding hours. The chief minister told the meeting that it is quite painful that prolonged load-shedding in the province, particularly in the areas of SESCO and HESCO has caused problems for the people. He also raised the issue of inflated electricity bills being given to the poor people in rural areas. The people living in even a two-room house have to pay a huge bill. "I know the power rates are high but it doesn''t mean to fleece the poor people," he said and added that the Hesco and Sesco deliberately do not install meters in slum areas and allow kunda connections and this system leads corruption.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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OIL SALES GREW 21PC IN AUGUST

Total oil sales soared by 21 per cent to 2.2 million tonnes in August on the back of strong growth in demand for furnace oil. Oil sales had remained flat during the same period last year. Furnace oil sales in August surged by 29pc year-on-year to 975,000 tonnes driven by increased economic activity and higher demand by the power generation sector. As per the latest numbers issued by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), power generation went up 12pc year-on-year in July, which was driven by furnace oil-based power plants. Umair Naseer of Topline Securities said motor gasoline and high-speed diesel (HSD) sales remained strong last month. They increased by 15pc and 16pc, respectively, due to improving car sales, lower oil prices and improved macros. Sales of Hascol Petroleum grew by 45pc to 155,000 tonnes, taking its market share to 7pc from 6pc in the same period last year, he said. Sales of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Attock Petroleum (APL) went up by 21pc and 22pc, respectively. PSO lost some market share in retail fuel products, including motor gasoline and HSD, as their sales remained flat. However, the increase in furnace oil sales of PSO supported growth in overall sales for the company, Mr Naseer said. Growth in Shell Pakistan’s sales remained flat, as its HSD’s revenues fell by 6pc during August. Improving macros, growing car sales and higher power generation are likely to drive sales of oil marketing companies higher going forward, he added. “Linkage of margins on retail products with CPI inflation also bodes well for the sector,” he said.

Published in Dawn, 2016

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MPCL MAKES GAS DISCOVERY IN GHOTKI

Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) has made a new gas discovery at Shahbaz-1 exploration well, drilled in Mari D&P Lease, located in District Ghotki, Sindh province. MPCL is the sole owner and operator of Mari D&P Lease. The said well was spud-in on July 22, 2016 and has been successfully drilled down to the depth of 1180m into Sui Main Limestone. The well was drilled with the objective to test the hydrocarbon potentials of Sui Main Limestone (SML) and Sui Upper Limestone (SUL). The Drill Stem Tests carried out in SML and SUL Formations, successfully flowed at a combined rate of 10.866 MMSCFD gas at WHFP of 936 Psi at 48/64 inch size. The new 3D seismic data has also indicated additional new prospects at different reservoir levels, which the company plans to drill in the next 2-3 years. The Shahbaz-1 discovery would further augment MPCL's exploration well success rate. This discovery will add to the national grid additional gas volumes and will also be helpful in reducing energy shortage in the country.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016

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OIL, GAS SECTOR RECEIVED RS 1.6 TRILLION INVESTMENT: NA TOLD

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday informed the National Assembly the country has received an investment of Rs 1.6 trillion in oil and gas exploration sector during a short span of time. During the question-answer session, he said a total of 82 oil gas discoveries have been made during last three fiscal years. He said that the production from 45, out of 82 discoveries had already been started, whereas, necessary work over 37 discoveries is being carried out by Exploration and Production companies to start production. The minister said that around 46 percent drilling has increased while around 36 percent increase witnessed in 2D and 3D explorations. He said the ban on commercial gas connections will be lifted soon after the arrival of more gas in the system. Currently, Abbasi said that no load-shedding of gas was observed in any part of the country. He said that despite decrease in the prices of petroleum products at the international level, Pakistan is expected to receive investment in the oil and gas sector which will help explore the indigenous resources of the country. He said the local production of crude oil has surged to one hundred thousand barrels per day which meets 15 percent requirements of the country. He said that exploration activities have expedited especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which led to some important discoveries. He said the government is encouraging the investors to establish new refineries in the country. The minister said that two refineries will be established in the country soon. He said the establishment of refineries in Balochistan and Karachi will help reduce import bill of refined products. The Minister said there is no ban on the domestic gas connections. He said the matter of gas shortage has been overcome to a great extent and today the consumers are being provided uninterrupted supply of gas. He said a comprehensive strategy is being devised in consultation with gas utility companies to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to domestic and commercial sectors during the coming winter season. He said with the injection of gas from new discoveries and establishment of second LNG terminal, the situation of gas demand and supply would be in a better position for winter of 2017-18. The minister said 46 new blocks have been awarded under Petroleum Policy 2012 to expedite exploration activities, while clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 new exploration blocks to E&P Companies through bidding process. He said that the producer gas price under Petroleum Policy 2012 has been increased from 31 percent to 68 percent for different zones. He said for new exploration efforts in old blocks, supplemental agreements have been signed for conversion to 2012 Petroleum Policy's price. The Bonanza of US$ per MMBTU has been introduced for first three discoveries in Offshore area, he added. The minister said windfall levy has been reduced from 50 to 40 percent while lease can be extended for another five years after its expiry subject to payment of an amount of 15 percent of well head value. He expressed the hope that exploration and production activities under Policy 2012 are anticipated to bring new oil and gas discoveries which will reduce import bill of crude oil.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016

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POWER PLANT TO BE FULLY OPERATIONAL BY 2018

The under-construction 1223 Mega Watt (MW) Balloki Combined Cycle Power Plant, having latest and environment-friendly 9-H gas turbine technology, will operate on full capacity by January 2018. Talking to media persons on Saturday, Acting General Manager (Project) Engineer Muhammad Aslam Butt said that at first stage the Power Plant would start, adding 386.5 MW electricity to the National grid by August 2017. To a question, he said the plant could be operated both on gas and diesel. However RLNG (Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas) would be its prime fuel, and the plant would generate maximum electricity with minimum fuel consumption due to use of fuel-efficient and environment-friendly H-9 gas turbine technology with 61 percent efficiency. He mentioned that Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) was laying the pipeline to supply RLNG to the plant site, and the task would be completed soon." Balloki Power Project is an excellent example of deep-rooted Pak-China friendship," he elaborated. To a query, he said the generated electricity would be evacuated from the power plant through 500KV Grid Station being constructed by National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) in nearby area of New Lahore. To another question, he said that the project was started in November 2015 under fast-track power generation policy of the government, and overall 30 percent work had so far been completed that included 50 percent civil and 18 percent electro-mechanical work, while power generation equipment/machines and gas turbines would start reaching the project site by next month. Aslam Butt highlighted that Balloki Power Plant was a joint-venture of Harbin Electric International Company (HEIC) China, and Habib Rafique Private Limited Pakistan, adding that HEIC was working on the electro-mechanical components and Habib Rafique was completing civil works of the projects, whereas NESPAK was providing consultancy services. The project was being executed according to its schedule, he said, and added that 2160 strong workforce including 280 engineers and supervisors had been working in three shifts 24/7 on various components- switchyard, water treatment plant, central control room, two fuel tanks of 2000 cubic meter capacity each, cooling tower, gas turbines, steam turbine, boilers, warehouse, mechanical services building and others to ensure timely completion of the power project sprawling over 132 acres of land. The plant machinery was being shipped to Karachi from various destinations and these would be reaching the project site by October this year, he informed.

Copyright News Network International, 2016

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