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News Headlines for the month of
APRIL 2011

Alternative energy resource portal launched

ISLAMABAD (April 25, 2011) : The solution to come out of energy crisis is not merely energy generation by traditional means, but in an integrated approach such as demand side management, the conservation and efficiency lighting transformation and energy generation through renewable sources. This was stated by Chairperson Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Engr Rukhsana Zuberi while talking to energy experts here on Sunday. Engr. Zuberi said that smart grid is first step towards the opening up billions of dollars business opportunity for small and medium investors with no minimum limit. "How long government of Pakistan can keep on paying general subsidies to the energy sector. The solution lies in pumping private money by facilitating them to make energy their business and generate energy", she added. Engr. Zuberi further said that as smart gird is a reality and alternative energy sector needs to be integrated for indigenous production, as PEC has launched an 'Alternative Energy Resource Portal'. The purpose is to develop a comprehensive database of all public and private sector organisations and individuals involved in alternative energy development in Pakistan. The portal would cater the information needs of individuals and organisations interested to convert their homes and offices on alternative energy especially solar. The initiative has been taken to enumerate the potential of professional resources so that the sector can be synchronised with the overall energy priorities of the government, he added.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Energy summit conference next month: Khalid

ISLAMABAD (April 24, 2011) : Director General Pepco Engineer Muhammad Khalid on Saturday said that energy summit conference will be held in the first week of May to chalk out new conservation plan and this would save 1500MW power. Talking to a private news channel, he hoped that loadshedding would be less this year, compared to past as power generation at Thermal and Hydel has been improved. To a question, he said that 1200MW electricity would be added to national grid within two months that will help overcome loadshedding in extremely hot weather.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Prime Minister invites South Korean corporate sector to invest in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (April 22, 2011) : Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday invited the corporate sector of Republic of Korea to enhance joint ventures and direct investment particularly in Pakistan's power generation, steel, automobile and communication sectors. Talking to Chong Joo Choi, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea who called on him at the PM's House, Gilani welcomed increased interest of Korean companies in chemicals, infrastructure and hydel power generation projects in Pakistan. The PM said his government would like major Korean corporations like Lottee Group's involvement in the construction of Karachi-Islamabad Motorway. He welcomed the interest of Korean government in undertaking construction of 100-bed hospital in Multan out of its official development assistance of $200 million committed at Tokyo Donors Conference in 2009 and assured facilitation by his government in this regard. He also assured the ambassador that his government would try its utmost to resolve the pending issues relating to Korean companies' investment projects in the country. Gilani expressed hope that the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries, currently at around rupees one billion, would be enhanced to its real potential. He said that while high level bilateral visits from Pakistan to Korea have taken place in the past, a visit at the head of the state or government level from Republic of Korea was awaited. He asked the ambassador to convey his invitation to the President and Prime Minister of Republic of Korea to visit Pakistan at their earliest convenience. Expressing his views, Ambassador of Korea briefed the Prime Minister about the plans and present status of Korean corporate sector's involvement in various sectors of Pakistan's economy besides further prospects of expanding economic co-operation between the two sides. He said he would like the volume of trade between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea to be doubled during his tenure of duty in Pakistan and would undertake every possible measure to enhance the commercial relations. Chong Choi also invited the Prime Minister to the ground breaking ceremony of 150MW Patrind Hydro Power Project in AJK which the Consortium of Korean companies Sambu Corporation, K-Water and Daewoo E&C would be undertaking by buying the project's shares worth $331 million.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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India offers economical power supply

ISLAMABAD (April 21, 2011) : India has offered economical power supply to Pakistan as the country is facing shortfall, a news channel reported here on Wednesday. Quoting Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood, it said the issues of power and energy will also be discussed in talks with India on May 27 and 28 as Indian Commerce Secretary, Rahul Khullar, who is leading a six-member delegation will visit Pakistan from April 26. Mahmood said that every important trade issue would be discussed during the talks. He denied giving India the status of the most favourite nation due to so many reservations.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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China, Punjab ink deal for 120 megawatts power generation

LAHORE (April 21, 2011) : According to a news of DGPR received here on Wednesday a historic agreement has been signed between China and Punjab in Beijing during the day for the generation of 120 megawatt power from Taunsa Barrage. The project to be completed with the co-operation of China in three years would cost Rs 26 billion. Chairman Punjab Development Company Babar Nadeem and the Chairman of the state corporation which produces 30 thousand megawatt electricity in China, Wang Shao Fang signed the agreement. Addressing the signing ceremony, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government and people and said that generation of power from Taunsa Barrage would be a historic event. He said that load shedding besides creating problems for Pakistani people, had also affected industrial and business activities. He said that generation of power from Taunsa Barrage would help mobilise economy as well as generate employment opportunities. He said that the low-cost power generation project had paved the way for foreign investment in energy and other sectors in Punjab and it is hoped that Pakistan would be able to overcome the serious issue of load shedding through such projects. He expressed the confidence that China could play an important role in ridding Pakistan of load shedding. Meanwhile, at the invitation of Chinese Communist Party, Shahbaz Sharif met its senior leadership at Great People's Hall. Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan, Saud Majid, Hafiz Mian Nauman, Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Rana Mubashar Iqbal, Kiran Imran, Shamsa Gohar and a number of important leaders of Chinese Communist Party were present on the occasion. Talking to the visiting delegation from Punjab, senior leader of Chinese Communist Party Jia Qing Lin said that Chinese Communist Party was deeply interested in the reforms programme by Muslim League-N. He also stressed the need of better working relationship and increased contacts between the Communist Party of China and Muslim League-N. The Chief Minister Punjab said that equitable distribution of resources and welfare of the deprived segments of the society was the common agenda of both the parties.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Expedite work on hydel projects: Hoti

PESHAWAR (April 21, 2011) : Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has directed that work on hydel generation projects should be expedited and as the sector is of prime importance for stability of economy and future of the province. He was chairing the Board of Directors meeting of Sarhad Hydel Development Organisation (SHYDO) here in his office on Wednesday. Participants of the meeting included Provincial Minister Rahim Dad Khan, Finance Minister Mohammad Hamyun Khan, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretaries Finance, Law and Industry, Managing Director SHYDO and other concerned officers. A 10-point agenda was under discussion and important decisions were taken. The Managing Director of SHYDO, Bahadar Shah, briefed the meeting regarding privatisation of small hydel stations, progress on on-going schemes and other related matters. Construction of Sharmai Hydel Power Plant under public sector has been agreed and a committee under Additional Chief Secretary has been constituted for finalising private sponsored feasibility report. The committee will submit its report within three weeks. Other members of the committee are Secretaries Energy and Power, Finance, Planning and Development and MD, Bank of Khyber. The Board also approved submission of report of financial statements to the provincial Assembly. The Chief Minister approved Rs 60.370 million out of Provincial Government's Special Package for development for reconditioning of Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Road, Fort Road, Michni Road, Artillery Road and Gunner Lane in Peshawar Cantonment area. The Frontier Highway Authority will execute work on the roads and will hand it over to Cantonment Board Authority. The condition of these roads deteriorated due to rain and other development works. The Chief Minister took serious notice of the matter and directed FHA for major rehabilitation of these roads. The cost estimate is amount Rs 60.370 million.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Chinese company wants to invest in Thar coal

KARACHI (April 21, 2011) : Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, on Wednesday held a meeting with seven-member Chinese delegation at the CM House. Syed Qaim Ali Shah welcomed the Chinese delegation on behalf of the Sindh Government, Sindh Cabinet and people of the province. He said that Pakistan and Peoples Republic of China have friendly and old relations, which were strengthened during the visit of former Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Syed Qaim Ali Shah added that the Prime Minister of China during his visit to Pakistan, had expressed that his country wants to invest in Pakistan particularly in energy sector. He added that China is a very advanced country and has achieved remarkable development and progress in various sectors, and Pakistan intends to avail the facilities from those achievements. Chairman of state owned China Godian Group, Ms Renaiquin, in her discussion informed that their group is engaged in Mining and Power sector based with coal power, solar energy, wind energy and also in petro-chemicals. She said that their group is generating 88,000 MW of power in China and intends to invest in Thar coal and, all other projects under infrastructure. She further informed that their group is generating 6,000 MW through solar system and 3,000 MW through wind power generation. Besides, they possess all types of machinery, equipment and operators with maintenance facility, she said. The Chinese group informed that they will prepare detailed proposal and the same will be sent to the Sindh Government for further negotiations. Advisor to CM Sindh for Investments, Zubair Motiwala, said on the occasion that Pakistan has always treated China as trust worthy and hoped that the Chinese Guodian Group will fully participate in development process of Thar coal and energy project. He added that the project is commercially viable and the Chinese group can also utilise sources of solar energy and wind energy together with coal gasification for power generation. Sindh Secretary for Thar Coal and Energy Department, Aijaz Ali Khan, in his detailed briefing informed that there is an estimated 860 billion tonnes of coal reserve in the world, which includes bituminous and anthracite 405 billion tonnes, sub-bituminous 260 billion tonnes and lignite 195 billion tonnes. He added that according to survey of energy resources 2010 by world energy council, the use of coal would rise by 60 percent by the year 2030, while the share of coal in power generation is set to increase from 41 percent to 44 percent by 2030. He said that there is coal reserve of 186.560 billion tonnes in Sindh, 235 million tonnes in Punjab, 217 million tonnes in Balochistan, 90 million tonnes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 9- million tonnes is Azad Kashmir. Aijaz Ali Khan also pointed to the socio-economic impact of load-shedding and said that Pakistan is facing acute energy shortages leading to socio-economic costs of loadshedding estimated at $37 billion between 2007 and 2012, while loss of Rs 219 billion to industrial sector alone during 2008 in Pakistan. He said that the vision for Thar coal is to develop it as a source of power generation for energy and economic security of the country and as a Hub of petro chemical industry, while as per goal, at least 10,000 MW power will be generated by 2020. Secretary Thar Coal Energy Department informed that the Thar coal field has been declared as Special Economic Zone (SEZ) where there is an exemption on with-holding tax to shareholders on dividend for initial 30-year and there is zero percent Customs duties on import of coal mining equipment and machinery including vehicles for site use, and there will be 20 percent (dollar based) 1RR to firms, which achieve financial close by December 2015 for Mine and Power Plants, and additional half a percentage for firms which are financially closed by December 2014. Besides, there is best infrastructure available at Thar, which includes 70-tonnes load carrying capacity metalled road, 11 Kv feeder emanating from Islamkot to Thar Coal Project area with 200 Watts transformer, telephone and Internet communication through optic fibre cable; 29 Reverse Osmosis Plants are available in Thar for provision of potable water to residents as well as project staff free of cost. Besides, rescue station in coal mining area at Thar coal field covering an area of 8200 sq-ft has been completed and a coal library at office of Sindh Coal Authority has been set up. The meeting was also attended by Advisor to CM for Investment Zubair Motiwala, Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Investment Sindh M. Younis Dagha, Asad Ali Shah, and others.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Hydel electricity production to rise to 6,500 megawatts by June

LAHORE (April 20, 2011) : Director General Pepco, Muhammad Khalid has said some 2800MW electricity is being produced through hydel system which will be increased to 6500MW by June this year. "Line losses have been reduced to 14.5 percent due to better policies of PEPCO," he said while talking to the media at the Wapda auditorium, here on Tuesday. He further said that there is no forced closure of electricity loadshedding in the country. The total shortfall of electricity was over 2000MW and it is likely to increase further with rise in mercury, he said. However, he expressed the hope that there would be less loadshedding this year as compared to the last year. The Director General Pepco that the duration of loadshedding was different in every city. He said that some 400MW to 500MW would be saved in the head of two-weekly holidays and closure of business centres at 8pm. He said while rejecting the impression of power cuts of up to 14 to 18 hours said that four to six hours of loadshedding would be carried out in urban areas while eight to ten hours in rural areas. Conversely, only two to five hours of power cuts to be carried out in the provincial capital of Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Hydropower projects, small dams: Germany offers support

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2011) : Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh discussed development partnership with leaders of major economic powers in separate meetings on the occasion of annual IMF-World Bank gathering. Dr Shaikh briefed German, British and American leaders about the government's focus on development as well as its efforts towards greater economic stabilisation. German Finance Minister Dick Niebel offered his country's support for Pakistan's hydropower projects and small dams. At another meeting, Dr Shaikh and UK's Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell discussed economic ties between the two countries. Mitchell appreciated Islamabad's commitment to economic reforms. The finance minister also had a meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, Robert Hormats and discussed economic development co-operation. The US official assured Dr Shaikh of Washington's support in getting greater trade access for Pakistan to European Union. Earlier, Hafeez Shaikh met with his Chinese counterpart at the World Bank, as the two officials pledged to step up implementation of economic partnership agreements. He is also scheduled to hold meetings with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran during the IMF-World Bank meetings. The finance minister is heading a delegation of top economic managers to IMF-WB spring meetings that includes Secretary Finance Waqar Masood Khan, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Salman Siddique, Governor State Bank Shahid Hafeez Kardar, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Nadeem ul Haq, Secretary Economic Affairs Division Abdul Wajid Rana and Counsellor Economic Affairs at the embassy Zahid Hafeez.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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During July 2010 to March 2011: Wapda generates 3.2 billion units additional hydro power

LAHORE (April 16, 2011) : Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) spokesman has said that the Wapda has generated 3.2 billion additional units of hydel electricity during the period July 2010 to March 2011 compared with the corresponding period last year. This increased hydel generation was made possible due to availability of more water in the reservoirs and efficient operation and management of hydropower stations, says a press release issued by Wapda, he added. According to the spokesman, this additional contribution of low-cost hydel electricity by Wapda to the national grid caused a saving of about Rs 35 billion to the national exchequer, which otherwise would have been incurred on generating the equivalent quantum of electricity from thermal resources. According to the data, as many as 23.6 billion units of hydel electricity were contributed from July 2010 to March 2011, while about 20.4 billion units were supplied during the same period last year. He said Tarbela, the largest hydel power station in the country, generated 12.3 billion units during July 2010 - March 2011 compared with 10.9 billion units last year. Similarly, he added, Ghazi Barotha, the second in line, produced 5.5 billion units against 4.8 billion units and Mangla, the third in row, 4.2 billion units against 3 billion units, while Warsak and other hydel power stations shared 1.6 billion units from July 2010 to March 2011 against almost the same quantum of electricity they contributed during the corresponding period last year. It is pertinent to mention that the installed capacity of hydropower generation in the country stands at about 6,500MW - about one third of the total installed capacity. Wapda is executing a least-cost energy generation plan on priority basis with a view to improve the ratio of hydel electricity in the National Grid. Wapda will add 1,500 MW to this capacity through its under construction projects. Besides, it is also executing a number of mega hydropower projects with a cumulative capacity of more than 20,000 MW including 4,500 MW Diamer Basha Dam, 960 MW Tarbela 4th Extension, 7,100-MW Bunji, 4,320-MW Dasu and 740-MW Munda hydropower projects etc.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Doable power generation projects: government urged to initiate work

LAHORE (April 12, 2011) : Though the formation of Government-Industry Energy Council (GIEC) by the Prime Minister is a step in the right direction, the need of the hour is to initiate work on doable power generation projects, as energy is an essential driver of the economy and things are fast getting out of hand with every passing day. This was stated jointly by the Chairman of Lahore Township Industries Association (LTIA), Haroon Shafiq, and Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) Chairman Sohail Lashari in a statement on Monday. They said that it was very unfortunate that not only the industry but the masses also were suffering badly due to over 3000 mw electricity shortage. They said that the manufacturing sector was in deep trouble and its growth could not exceed 2.3 percent despite best efforts by the private sector. They said they feared that if the situation remained the same for quite some time now, the manufacturing sector growth would go down further. They said that if a little attention had been given towards the construction of water reservoirs in the country, the situation today would have been quite different. He said that the government should also immediately initiate exercise to develop consensus for early construction of Kalabagh dam, which is one of the best solutions to the acute shortage of energy. Cheaper electricity is not only essential for the industrial sector but it is also vital for the agriculture. They said that besides the industrial sector, the agriculture sector would also suffer badly because the produce would be costlier when the tubewells would be running on diesel instead of electricity. They said that the energy shortage is the single most critical factor that is responsible for poor domestic output. This, in turn, is compromising the government's ability to raise its collections from taxes levied in the value-added mode, including sales tax and excise duty. High energy costs, passed on to the consumers are fuelling inflationary pressures. Without ensuring uninterrupted energy supply to the industry, the government cannot possibly hope to increase the Gross Domestic Product growth rate or indeed facilitate competition of Pakistani exports with those of Pakistan's competitors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Energy Limited to achieve Financial Close for setting up 49.5 MW wind power project

ISLAMABD: The Energy Limited of Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) has all set to achieve financial close in the current month for setting up 49.5 MW wind power project at Jhampir, Dist. Thatta, Sindh and the project will be completed and commissioned within 16 months. The first ever energy purchase agreement of wind project in the entire Alternative Energy Sector in the country was signed between FFC Energy Limited and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA). The Energy Limited (EL) is pursuing development of 49.5 MW wind power project to be installed at Jhampir, Dist. Thatta, Sindh and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has already issued Letter of Intent (LOI) to EL. The land for the project was allocated by AEDB in 2007 on which EL carried out detailed feasibility study. The IPP achieved their first major milestone when they signed the EPC contract with Nordex and Descon Engineering in April 2010. Nordex will supply 33 S77 (1.5MW) wind turbines for which the towers would be manufactured locally. The EL was awarded the tariff for their project by NEPRA in August 2010. The Letter of Support (LOS) was also issued to the IPP in December 2010.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2011

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China willing to invest $15bn in energy sector

ISLAMABAD (April 07, 2011): China has expressed its willingness to invest about $15 billion in Pakistan’s energy sector projects. A Chinese delegation led by Cao Guanging, chairman of the state-owned China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC), discussed the Kohala, Bunji, Bhasha, Dashu and other hydropower projects in the upper and lower Indus valley during a meeting with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday. Dr Hafeez welcomed the offer and said he would try to develop consensus on issues relating to the projects. He said he would consult with the ministries of water and power and law and justice to sort out legal and other issues. He informed the delegation about the country’s bidding rules and laws and assured it that the bidding process would be held in a transparent manner. He said the Chinese offer had been discussed at a recent meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet. He said the projects identified by the CTGPC would be taken up with it but only after the completion of procedural matters. The Chinese offer to provide financial and technical assistance for hydel and wind power projects, upgrade the transmission system and provide an integrated solution to the problems of power shortage and disruptions was elaborated by the CTGPC delegation at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Wednesday. Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said in a statement that President Asif Ali Zardari had advised the government to consider tasking the CTGPC with building a run-of-the-river hydro project at Sukkur Barrage and asked Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar to discuss the project with the sections concerned and prepare a proposal in two months. The president said that agreements with China ensured full security of Chinese investments in Pakistan. He said the true potential of business partnership between entrepreneurs of the two countries had yet to be fully realised. Mr Babar said the CTGPC was already involved in a number power projects in the country and offered to build more to address the problems of power shortage. He said the corporation was currently undertaking Karot, Taunsa, Kohala and Bunji hydro-electric power projects. A letter of intent for the 720MW Karot project has been issued after the approval of its feasibility study. The project is currently at the tariff petition stage. A memorandum of understanding for the 120MW Taunsa hydro-eclectic project has been signed and a development agreement will be signed this month. Mr Babar said the 1,100MW Kohala project was ready for tariff negotiations. A letter of intent for the project has already been issued after the approval of its updated feasibility study. The 7,100MW Bunji project is ready for site survey. The MoU for the project was signed in August 2009. Mr Babar said that wind power projects, including Sindh’s first and second wind farms and Punjab’s wind and solar projects, were also in an advanced stage.

Copyright Dawn, 2011

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Khan Khwar Hydropower Station begins operation

LAHORE (April 05, 2011) : With the availability of water, both main units of Khan Khwar Hydropower Station have started generating 68 megawatt (MW) electricity as per their cumulative installed capacity, delivering over 1.1 million units of electricity to the national grid daily, which is equivalent to over Rs 10 million revenue. The third auxiliary unit of 4MW will also go into operation soon. It is pertinent to mention that Khan Khwar Hydropower Station started its commercial operation in December 2010. The 72-MW Khan Khwar Hydropower Station, one of the three high-head hydropower projects, has been constructed on Khan Khwar (river), a tributary of the River Indus near Besham in Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Rest of the two projects namely 121-MW Allai Khwar and 130-MW Duber Khwar are also at the advance stage of their completion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Pakistan has potential to generate 20,000MW for 50 years: Hamza

LAHORE (April 05, 2011) : MNA Hamza Shahbaz has said that Pakistan has potential to generate electricity amounting to 20,000 MW for over 50 years by using only 2 percent of the coal available in the country. Despite this ending wealth, Pakistani people and industry are facing the worst power crisis. It is very unfortunate that the country has been facing unparalleled energy crisis despite the fact that the value of Pakistan's coal reserves is around $30 trillion, that is 187 times more than the GDP of Pakistan. "The worth of our coal reserves is higher than the combined oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran," he said. He was speaking as chief guest at the Qiraat Competition held in connection with Lahore Shopping Festival which was presided over by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Shahzad Ali here on Monday. MNA Pervaiz Malik, LCCI Senior Vice President Mohammad Arshad and Vice President Sohail Azhar were also present on the occasion. Habiba Yasmin, Zakria Khalid and Abdus Salam Azizi won the Lahore Shopping Festival (LSF) Qiraat Competition jointly organised by LCCI and Qudratullah and Company. Habiba Yasmin stood first among women, while Zakaria Khalid and Abdus Salam Azizi took top positions in non-professional and professional categories respecively. Shahnaz Akhtar, Tahira Bilquees, Hassan Raza, Mushtaq Ahmad Awan, Mohammad Riaz and Zubair Aslam took second and third positions respectively in all categories. Ajwad Obaid of Jamia Ashrafia and Raghib Naeemi were judges of the competition. Hamza agreed with the LCCI proposal to establish a state-of-the-art vocational training institute in Lahore and promised to allocate land for the said institute so that the shortage of skilled manpower could be overcome. He said: "Today, the country is faced with multiple internal and external challenges and we all should fulfill our respective responsibilities to cope with these challenges." He said: "If we are really sincere and serious about getting out of the present economic logjam, we will have to chalk out an elaborate action plan aimed at reducing dependence on external assistance and learn to rely on available resources, even sacrificing some of the comforts in the process to achieve our long term goal of progress and prosperity." Shahzad said that the Lahore Shopping Festival has been designed to promote economic activities in the province. At the three-day first Expo Punjab as many as 175 prominent business groups are showcasing their products. On the sidelines of the exhibition an 'Investment conference' would also be held at Lahore Expo Centre Auditorium where leading economic experts would be highlighting the potential of Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Briefing on Thar coal and water plants

MITHI (April 05, 2011) : Secretary Sindh Coal Authority Aijaz Ali Khan has said that the government has made hectic efforts to increase electricity generation capacity of the country. The first phase of Thar coal project will be launched in next month under the directives of the famous scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand. It may be recalled that Dr Samar Mubarakmand has planned gasification project to generate electricity from Thar coal reservoirs in the first phase of the project. He was giving a briefing to the Government National Management 94th course, officers of different cadres and grades in Mithi district Tharparkar. He further said that this gasification project will help generate 10,000 megawatt electricity from Thar coal project till 2020. He further said that Pak Oasis Industries had been taken revolutionary steps to provide quality and cheap purified drinking water. He added that Thar coal authority had also given a task to Pak Oasis Industries to install water filter plants in Thar desert for Thari people. Syed Ummar Abbas Jilani, managing director Pak Oasis Industries said his company has 58 plants of these, 29 are functioning in district Tharparkar and, the rest in district Umerkot. He further said that water filter plants are functioning at Mithi, Islmakot, Kantiyo, Chelhar, Chachro, Umerkot and other far-flung areas of desert on a daily basis. He further said that Thar Coal Authority and Sindh government are also giving tasks to Pak Oasis Industries for installation of further plants of water in the desert areas of Sindh. He further said that 58 plants in Umerkot and Tharparkar, 25 plants in Badin and Thatta are functioning while work on other projects in Benazirabad district and other districts of the province is in progress. He further said that 9.26 million gallon purified water per day was being provided to the people of those areas where plants have been installed, he added. On this occasion, Director General Thar Coal Authority Abdul Majid Pathan said that different companies were implanting their projects to generate electricity in Thar Coal Project and added that till 2016 sufficient quantity of electricity would be produced from this project. He said there was very difficult to construct roads and brining the heavy machinery till this project place, but companies have completed this task successfully. He said water problem has mostly been resolved in Thar with the co-operation of Pak Oasis Industries. Later, officers of 94th National Management Course visited various water filter plants and ongoing work on Thar Coal Project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Small-scale hydro/wind power projects: AEDB organises workshop on up-front tariff

ISLAMABAD (April 04, 2011) : Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) organised a "Stakeholders Workshop on Up-front Tariff for On-grid Small-Scale Hydro & Wind Power Projects" along with National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) with the support of GIZ here on Sunday. Different stakeholders like international donor agencies, private sector investors and consultants had strongly emphasised to introduce Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) mechanism for Alternative/Renewable Energy (ARE) technologies during a consultative process, which AEDB initiated for ARE Policy, 2011 During the consultations, it was highlighted that globally FIT mechanism has proven to be an effective and efficient tool for development of ARE sector, which helped in increasing its share in global energy mix. Considering the stance, AEDB proposed introduction of Upfront/FIT mechanism by Nepra for ARE technologies in the upcoming ARE Policy. The AEDB with the support of GIZ initiated the process of developing the FIT models for two technologies initially; Wind and Small Hydro for which GIZ hired the services of Lahmeyer International. The assignment was initiated in January, 2010 when the Consultant met different stakeholders including Nepra, and on suggestions of Nepra, it was decided that the Upfront/FIT for Pakistan should be computed based on CPT mechanism and models be designed accordingly. The consultant prepared two separate models for Wind and Small Hydro, which were earlier presented and discussed in detail with AEDB and Nepra and it was decided that workshop for presentation/dissemination of the FIT models should be held to demonstrate calculation and determination methodology to all relevant stakeholders. The objective of the workshop was to see the viability and general acceptance amongst the stakeholders, which also included investors, donors, regulators and other government agencies both federal and provincial. The workshop was opened by CEO AEDB, Arif Alauddin. The participants of the workshop agreed on the advantages of Upfront/Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), which would speed up project implementation, minimise investors concerns and promote efficiency and cost of RE projects. They also pointed out advantages of Cost Plus Tariff (CPT) in a regime, where the government is taking wind risk and hydrological risk. Given the perceived risks, associated with the country in term of security, technology, financial viability and infrastructure, the advantages of CPT were also considered necessary for many ARE technologies. The participants expressed concern that in case low CPT was determined, the whole sector would suffer as potential investors would not come in to invest. It was, therefore, proposed to ensure that the case must be taken to select a realistic tariff, which provides sufficient incentives for investments. AEDB was of the opinion that FIT should be on Cost Plus basis. The workshop identified that in order to introduce FIT, there is a need to change Energy Purchase Agreement (EPA), which is a great task in itself. They recommended that AEDB in consultation with private sector and NTDC should work on this issue. A committee has been formed to take the process forward, and make concrete recommendations to Nepra. The CEO AEDB in his closing remarks said that FIT though appeared to be simple, required in-depth understanding of the input parameters, the lenders concerns, the nature of technology and the project site. He appreciated the GIZ support, especially the commitment and skills of GIZ Consultant, Annika Seiler, which helped take the first step forward to the journey towards FIT. DG, Nepra in his remarks said that it was the first serious effort in the direction of FIT. Bernhard Meyhoefer, Principle Advisor GIZ -REEE Program informed that another forum would be organised wherein other donors would also participate in the process. Annika Seiler informed that the models were prepared in line with the United Nations Energy Transfer Initiative, which Pakistan might consider and explore opportunities to participate in the initiative supported by Deutsdie Bank.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Fateh Group signs contract with Chinese group

HYDERABAD (April 03, 2011) : Fateh Group Hyderabad has signed a contract with China Yongxing Boiler Group for the Purchase of a coal fired Boiler for 16 MW capacity power plant at a cost of US $7.5 Million.The Contract was signed by Yongxing Wang, Chairman Yongxing Boiler Group, China in the presence of Guanghui Tang Country Mayor representing China and Gohar Ullah, Chairman Fateh Group Hyderabad. The Boiler will be shipped to Pakistan within 100 days and will be installed by the Engineers of China Yongxing Boiler Group. This will reduce the load shedding in Hyderabad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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'Germany can help Pakistan in alternative energy sector'

KARACHI (April 02, 2011) : Germany's renewable energy technologies have become a success story, and the country has the world's largest wind power sector and one of the world's largest solar power market. Germany is planning to increase this share to at least 30 percent by the year 2020. This was said by the German Consul General Dr Christian Brecht in his speech at the international conference on Alternative Energy and Power held at Karachi Expo Centre. He said the topic of alternative energy has become a very important issue world-wide. This is mainly due to rising energy prices, the growing question marks about the "nuclear option" if we look at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, hit by the recent earthquake and the tsunami disaster. He added it was high time the world looks at the challenges posed by climate change which affects the world and will eventually also influence the weather patterns in Pakistan, including a possible melting of the glaciers in the north of the country, which provide most of the water supply to the whole subcontinent. In a country like Pakistan with its growing population and its need for developing agriculture and industry, the demand for more energy is evident. And you cannot rely only on oil and gas or on projects like the Thar coal, which has been in the pipeline for years but has not produced one single kilowatt of energy. Therefore, alternative energy will play a significant role in the energy mix of the future in Pakistan. There are an enormous range of possibilities of using alternative energy according to the different needs and different circumstances. To give a few examples: There is wind power, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar power, photovoltaics, water for rural areas by photovoltaics, solar heat, biogas, hydroelectric power and geo-thermal heat. At this juncture, the German Consul General urged the participants and stakeholders of some other key words, namely energy efficiency and energy conservation, which are very important elements to save energy and reduce energy consumption bills. Pakistan and Germany, like many other countries all over the world, are increasingly dependant on energy imports, especially on fossil fuel. Due to this dependence, Germany and other countries are facing quite often economical and political crises, even wars. The German Consul General hoped that the conference would give new impetus to the issue in Pakistan, helping in the long run to alleviate the energy shortcomings and overcome the ongoing loadshedding the business community was suffering in the country and Karachi.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Meeting decides to revamp power sector

ISLAMABAD (April 02, 2011) : At a high level meeting at the Presidency Friday on energy issues, it was decided to revamp power sector totally with a view to ending load-shedding and addressing other issues of non-sustainability of power sector. The meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was attended by Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Federal Minister for Defence, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Privatisation with additional charge of Water & Power, and other concerned senior officials. Spokesperson to President, Farhatullah Babar was also present on the occasion. The President emphasised on the need to step up further exploration of indigenous energy resources and rationalisation of import of energy. The President and Prime Minister took serious notice of continued power and gas load-shedding in the country and directed that no bureaucratic delays and bottlenecks be allowed to stand in the way of revamping the power sector. Farhatullah Babar said that it was also decided to set up a committee comprising Syed Khursheed Shah, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Labour and Manpower, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf MNA, Chairman Aptma, MD Sui Northern Gas and businessman Anwer Saifullah Khan to make recommendations for the optimal utilisation of gas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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