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News Headlines for the month of
JUNE 2011

Private contractors to run Gencos: PPIB

The government has decided to induct private sector operation and maintenance contractors to make the public sector power Generation Companies (Gencos ) run more efficiently. This was decided at a meeting of PPIB Board on Wednesday. It was presided over by the Minister for Water and Power, Syed Naveed Qamar. With passage of time, electricity generating capacity of the Gencos has de-rated from the originally installed capacity and out of that capacity, availability remains dismally low. According to an official statement, issued after the meeting, the Board was apprised that after enhancement of Gencos , additional about 2000MW will be made available to the national grid. The decision of induction of private sector O&M contractors is one of the steps of the present government to improve the current power deficit situation in the country through efficiently managing system, besides adding more megawatts through new projects. The other major initiative being taken by the GoP in this context is the conversion of existing thermal power stations to cheaper fuels like coal, LNG etc. The minister said that while construction of thermal power projects was a short term solution and government is prioritising its local resources like coal and hydropower. In this regard, the government is providing its full support to the investors. Naveed Qamar said that in order to make electricity affordable, a good energy mix is necessary, and, therefore, the use of indigenous resource like hydropower and our local coal at Thar, as well as imported coal is being stressed. Managing Director PPIB informed the board in this context that under Policy for Power Generation 2002, standardised security agreements for coal based power generation IPPs have been prepared by PPIB in consultation with relevant stakeholders; the Board on Wednesday approved the same for submission to the ECC for approval. The meeting was informed that so far 12 private power projects of more than 2,400MW have been commissioned since March 2009 out of which 209MW Bhikki (Halmore) Power Project has been recently commissioned on 16 June, 2011. PPIB is doing all efforts to take such steps which are investors friendly and in order to minimise the procedures, save time of tariff approval/reviews and facilitate investors in carrying out their own due diligence regarding financial viability/acceptability of the tariff, PPIB has worked out upfront tariffs which are being further processed.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Economic activities' revival: PCCC discusses energy situation

Punjab Chambers Co-ordination Committee (PCCC), in its fifth meeting on Monday, discussed in detail energy situation, its generation and conservation plan, participation of business community in foreign fairs and capacity building of chambers in Punjab. Chairman PCCC Pervaiz Malik MNA and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad jointly chaired the meeting that decided to gear up its efforts for the revival of economic activities aimed at generating employment, removing unnecessary red-tapism and hurdles. Provincial Secretary Industries Dr Shujaat Ali, former LCCI President Mohammad Ali Mian and Presidents/representatives of all the Chambers in Punjab including Waseem Akhtar, President Sahiwal Chamber, S Ali Raza Saeed, President Rawalpindi Chamber also attended the meeting and gave their proposals for expediting economic activities. Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman PCCC and MNA Pervaiz Malik said that all available resources in the province are being utilised to provide affordable energy to all segments of economy through increase in generation and conservation. He said that immediate target is to add 500-700 MW to energy supply in the province during 2011-12 and add about 2000 MW by the year 2012-13. He said that initially government development fund to be used to attract private capital. Pervaiz Malik informed the participants that besides focusing on coal-based power generation projects in Punjab a special attention is being given towards small-scale biomass (5-15 MWs) projects. He said that Energy Development Action Plan for short and medium term has also been evolved to cope with the situation. The Chairman PCCC said that the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif wants maximum participation of private sector in foreign trade fairs and for this purpose a delegation is being arranged for China EURASIA Expo scheduled for September 1 to September 5 in Chinese city Urumqi. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad called for co-ordinated efforts and a wholesome approach to find out the solutions to the issues being faced by the trade and industry. He said that the business community of Lahore was ready to play its due role for the revival of economic activities in the province. The LCCI former President Mohammad Ali Mian said that a little attention towards alternate power generation means and incentives to the private sector could do the miracle in shortest possible time.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Energy shortage: more nuclear plants to be constructed, says Prime Minister

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday categorically stated that the country's nuclear capability was purely for peaceful purposes. Addressing the participants of 36th International Nathiagali Summer College on Physics and Contemporary Needs at National Centre of Physics here, Gilani said more civil nuclear power plants would be built to address severe energy deficit. The country required more electrical energy and in future may have to rely on nuclear power to meet a part of this demand. He said Pakistan had been consistently complying with the requirements of International Atomic Energy Agency's nuclear safeguard agreements. Gilani said Pakistan believed in a meaningful coexistence and reconciliation, and would always strive for development and prosperity in our region. He said building and operating nuclear power plants was vital to the country's interest because of its severe energy deficiency. Gilani lauded the contributions of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for basic and applied sciences, adding that the expansion in the country's Civil Nuclear Power Programme was commendable. The prime minister recalled inaugurating C-2, the second unit at Chashma Nuclear Power Complex, which increased the production of electricity through nuclear power to 625 mega watts. He said that based upon previous performance, the Atomic Energy Commission was not only poised to achieve the 8800 mega watts Nuclear Power production by 2030, and hoped that it would also plan to look beyond 2030 to build more nuclear power plants. Gilani said the fate of countries today is determined by their economic competitiveness and stressed the need to understand and appreciate the implications of competition in the global market-driven economy. He said keeping in view the pivotal role science had assumed, the government had allocated appropriate funds for the development of trained and qualified human resource. He said support would be provided to establish research laboratories to provide employment to this trained manpower. The Prime Minister said the government was fully supportive of such activities and looked forward towards active collaboration with CERN - The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, for innovative research resulting in major scientific breakthroughs. He hoped that this collaboration would provide increased opportunities for the continuance of research traditions in the country. He acknowledged the contributions of the country's Noble Laureate late Professor Abdus Salam, who was the founder and a passionate supporter of International Nathiagali Summer College. Gilani said the Nathiagali Summer College had over the years provided great stimulus to the scientific activities in the region particularly Pakistan. He said such forums have become a prestigious event in the scientific calendar of the developing world and have duly been recognised for discussing most recent trends and results in various fields of physics. Gilani appreciated the productive efforts of country's scientists in the fields of agriculture, biotechnology, industry and health, which he said had been largely possible owing to the investment in human resource development. He mentioned that Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto laid the foundations of pursuit of scientific knowledge in the country, which was bearing fruits today. He stressed for utilising science as an intellectual pursuit to general progress, adding that industrialised nations must actively assist the less developed nations in this regard. Chairman PAEC Dr Ansar Parvez in his welcome address said it was only through science and technology that a nation can find its place in the select group of knowledge based nations. He stressed the need to undertake dedicated efforts to transform the society accordingly. Dr Rolf Heuer, Director General CERN, scientists, scholars and researchers from across the country and abroad were present.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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PEW for exploiting alternative energy sources

Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said that alternative forms of energy were becoming more cost-competitive with conventional fuels therefore government should accelerate the pace of its development. "Energy crisis is greatest bottleneck in the supply of resources to economy; it is biggest problem than terrorism," said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. He said that some areas would have to brave 23-hour load shedding by 2020 if development of energy resources was not given proper attention. He said that industrial development, commercial activities, population growth and inefficiency were main causes for the crisis while the rising costs of fossil fuels coupled with volatility has made alternatives more attractive. Moreover, construction costs of oil, gas, coal and nuclear power plants have jumped by 80 per cent in five years which calls for investing in renewable energy, he said adding that there was a need to realise that economics of traditional fuels are changing. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that gap is closing between price of fossil fuels and alternatives, and later will not be considered an expensive option in the days to come. Lauding the move by AEDB and FFC Energy to explore wind power projects he said that Pakistan's government and private sector needed to explore more wind corridors, complete projects in pipeline and also consider utilising exceptional level or irradiation available throughout the country. Government as well as business community needs to introduce green hotels, cars, heaters, notebooks, motorcycles and lighting systems. Those investing in alternative energy should be given maximum benefits and tax breaks and there should be no policy ambiguity, he demanded. "We urgently need a master plan for rural electrification through renewable energy" Dr. Mughal demanded. Private sector should also be encouraged to invest in such a programme. Such transitional steps would also help us fight climate change for which help of international lending institutions was imperative, he said.

Copyright News Network International, 2011

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Qaim chairs meeting of Alternate Energy Development Board

The present government is endeavouring to meet the energy needs through traditional as well as alternate resources. This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, on Sunday. He was chairing the meeting of the Alternate Energy Development Board at the C M House here. Qaim Ali Shah said that there are ample opportunities to generate energy from wind on the coastal belt of Sindh especially at Gharo, Jhimpir. Mirpur Sakro and other areas. He said that various incentives are being offered to the domestic and foreign investors. Chief Minister said that necessary steps are also being undertaken for the development of infrastructure. He stated that the Pakistani companies as well as those from Korea, China and Turkey have shown interest for investment in the wind corridor. The Chief Executive officer of the Alternate Energy Development Board apprised the meeting of the headway as well as the problems. He said that the Sindh government years ago had allocated 33,000 acres of land to the Alternate Energy Board. Nine companies have shown interest for investment. The companies of Korea and Turkey have expressed interest in initiation of wind power projects. The meeting decided that road network be developed in the area and transmission lines be laid. The meeting was attended by Secretary General to the President, Salman Farooqui, Adviser to CM Sindh on Investment, Zubair Motiwala, Sindh Chief Secretary, Raja Abbas, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Ghulam Ali Pasha and other officials.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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ADB to launch Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will launch the Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund with 2.25 billion dollars as it targets solar power projects in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Thailand to add another 1,000 megawatts next year and 1,500MW in 2013, said a statement of the ADB. "By providing an enabling environment for commercial lending and private investment in the solar energy market, we hope to encourage its rapid growth and bring solar energy nearer to grid parity - making solar energy competitive in price to conventional sources," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said at a clean energy forum in Manila. He said Asia needs to invest around 10 billion dollars in the next few years to make solar power generation competitive with conventional energy sources and called for radical steps to fight climate change. He said ADB wants Asia, home to about two-thirds of the world's population, to add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity by the end of 2013. Already this year, it has helped countries add 500 megawatts, doubling the region's solar capacity. Fast-growing Asian economies rely heavily on fossil fuels. ADB has forecast Asia-Pacific imports of fossil fuels will more than double between 2005 and 2030, with oil accounting for more than 90 percent of such imports. Kuroda said Asia had a lot to lose from climate change and needed to act quickly to develop alternate energy source. "A big push is needed to accelerate this transition," he said. "The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region." "The total cost of this 3,000 MW is about 10 billion dollars, of which we are planning to commit 2.25 billion dollars," S Chander, Principal Director at ADB's Office of Information Systems and Technology, told reporters. "Our job is to catalyse enough projects to increase volumes and to make sure that the manufacturers (of low-carbon technologies) have an incentive to invest in research and development," Chander said. ADB invested 1.76 billion dollars in clean energy across 29 projects last year and said it is on track to meet a goal of 2 billion dollars in clean energy investments annually by 2013. It plans to inject 60 million dollars into three venture capital funds that will provide early-stage financing support for new climate technology products. It expects this initiative to leverage over 400 million dollars in private sector investment.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Iran to supply additional 35 megawatts electricity to Balochistan

Iran will supply an additional 35MW to the bordering areas of Balochistan according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Pakistan and Iran during the visit of a delegation headed by Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power visited Iran recently. According to the MoU, this additional 35MW electricity will be supplied to Balochistan through existing jackigur-Mand 132KV transmission line subject to technical suitability. Senator Nawabzada Mir Haji Lashkari Raisani, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power, Dr Ismail Buledi and senior officials of the PEPCO visited Iran to negotiate import of electricity for the border areas of Balochistan province besides supply of additional power. The Chairman of the committee expressed the hope that additional capacity would be helpful in solving the problem of loadshedding in the border area of Balochistan. It may be recalled that Mir Haji Lashkari Raisani and others visited Iran to negotiate import of electricity for the border areas of Balochistan province besides supply of additional power. Some parts of Makran area are already being supplied electricity from Iran, Haji Lashkari Raisani said in a statement issued, here on Thursday.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Chinese power corporation's team to visit Sukkur Barrage

A team of China Water and Electric Corporation (CWEC) would visit Sukkur Barrage within next few days, sources said. In its earlier visit in May 2011, the CWEC delegation had shown great interest in enhancing the capacity of power plants of Sindh province during their meetings with the relevant authorities. The delegation had also announced to extend financial and technical assistance to Sindh government in order to establish hydropower plant on the Sukkur Barrage. Sources said that the CWEC team had assured to visit Pakistan again so it is expected that they would visit the Sukkur Barrage soon. The CWEC delegation would comprise of technical experts to prepare a construction plan for the power plant on the Sukkur Barrage and during their visit different matters pertaining to the project would be finalised, sources said. The Chinese team is also expected to visit more sites in Sindh and would conduct a short-term survey as well. The team would hold meetings with Minister for Power Shazia Marri, officials of Sindh Coal Authority and other officials of Sindh government, sources added. When contacted, secretary power department Rabia Javeria Agha confirmed to Business Recorder that the visit of Chinese delegation was expected during the last week of June 2011.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Wapda plans upgradation of 1000mw Mangla Station

With a view to optimal utilisation of hydropower resources in the country, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has awarded contract to carry out feasibility study for upgradation of the 1000mw Mangla Power Station. A Rs 164 million contract, awarded to a joint venture of two consulting firms MWH (USA) and NESPAK (Pakistan) aims at assessing the existing operating conditions, studying various options for refurbishment of electro-mechanical equipment and recommending the most viable option for up-gradation of the power station. The study will be completed in October 2011. Mangla Power Station up-gradation is a part of two-pronged strategy being implemented by WAPDA on priority to overcome energy shortage in the country and maximise the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity in the National Grid. Through this strategy, WAPDA is not only constructing a number of mega projects but is also engaged in up-gradation and rehabilitation of its aged power stations. WAPDA planned up-gradation of the existing Mangla Power House on two counts. These include aging factor of the electro-mechanical equipment and more water availability as a result of the raised Mangla Dam. Raising of the dam has made 2.9 million acre feet additional water available in the reservoir for irrigation-cum-generation purpose. Based on the preliminary studies, the generation capacity of Mangla Power Station is likely to increase by about 200 mw. Besides up-gradation of Mangla Power House, 22 mw Jabban Power House is also being rehabilitated at a cost of Rs 3.7 billion. In addition, the contract for rehabilitation and up-gradation of 243 mw Warsak Power House will also be finalised soon.

Copyright Daily Times, 2011

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Sindh coal-based power, mining projects granted tax exemption

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has announced tax exemption for coal mining and coal-based power generation projects in Sindh. According to recently issued SRO.609(I)/2011, the FBR has substituted the words "With respected to a project situated in the Special Economic Zone at Thar coalfield" with the "Coal Mining and Coal Based Power Generation Projects in Sindh" under the Second Schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. Earlier, through SRO 317 dated April 19, 2011, clause (78) was inserted in Part 1 of Second Schedule creating the following tax exemptions for a project situated in Special Economic Zone at Thar Coalfield; (i) the dividend income of the shareholders of such a project shall be Exempt from provisions of section 150 from the date of commencement of business till 30 years form such date; and (ii) The payments made on account of sale or supply of goods or Providing or rendering of services during project construction. However, the Ministry of Water and Power later required after that as per ECC''s decision such facility is to be notified for whole or the coal sector in Sindh. Therefore, the following amendment has been made vide SRO. 609(I)/2011 dated 13th June, 2011 to extend this incentive to coal mining and coal based power generation for whole of the Sindh province. "With respect to a project situated in the Special Economic Zone at Thar coalfield" the words "Coal Mining and Coal Based Power Generation Projects in Sindh" shall be substituted, SRO.609(I)/2011added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Sindh government plans to initiate six small hydro power projects

With a view to overcome electricity shortage, the Sindh government has planned to initiate small hydel power projects with capacity of 7 mw to 15 mw on Indus River, through public-private partnership (PPP), official sources told Business Recorder. In this connection, Sindh Power Department has decided to commission 'Earnest and Young', a private firm, to prepare feasibility reports of 6 small hydel power plants on run-of-the-river. The Power Department, a few days back, forwarded a summary in this regard to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for approval. After approval, 'Earnest and Young' would start its work, and it will have to complete the work within 8 months, sources added. According to sources, Earnest and Young has to conduct survey on the Indus River and to identify 6 top sites for installation of hydel power projects. Experts of said firm would ascertain the quality of water and sand and availability of water on different sites of Indus River. The mandate of the firm is also to find out and resolve legal implications regarding the installation of hydel power projects, sources said. The firm will have to select machinery which would be used on identified sites and it will also conduct environmental survey in this regard, sources added. After completion of above mentioned major tasks, Earnest and Young would start its work to attract investors in this regard. According to experts, there are many sites on Indus River, which have the potential to generate 8 mw to 15 mw electricity through hydel plants. Sources said that if Sindh government would accelerate its work in this regard, it could control persistent load shedding schedule, which is causing numerous troubles. When contacted, Secretary, Power, Rabia Javeria Agha told Business Recorder that accelerated development of energy resources is one of the top priorities of Sindh government as the ever-mounting electricity shortages are major bottleneck, hindering growth of provincial economy. She said that there is a big space in hydro generation field so that Power Department is trying to fill this gape with collaboration of private sector. It is pertinent to mention here that the duration of load-shedding is widening day by day in all districts of Sindh including Karachi. As a result, Sindh is facing huge economical losses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Punjab government to initiate 500 megawatts power projects in 2011-12

With a view to overcome electricity shortage, Punjab government, led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, plans to initiate power projects having capacity of 500 megawatts in collaboration with private sector during fiscal year 2011-12. Sources told Business Recorder here on Monday that accelerated development of energy resources is one of top priorities of the Punjab government as the ever-mounting electricity shortages are major bottleneck impeding growth of the provincial economy. For the last several years, energy sector in the country is facing the, crises of rising prices, sub-optimal performance, and slow expansion resulting in widened supply and demand gaps. With stagnated development of large-scale hydel power projects since 1980s, the once benign hydel/thermal power generation ratio of 67:33 has been reversed to the economically unaffordable ratio of 35:65. Nation-wide power demand is outstripping supply, and there is imperative need to focus on efforts to increase the share of hydropower and alternative renewable energy in the overall energy mix in order to balance the unabated adverse impacts of expanding energy shortages, sources said. According to them, previous studies had identified over 300 sites on canal falls and barrages in Punjab having potential of power development of about 600 mw. Out of these, 48 preferred sites, with generation potential exceeding 2 MW at each site, possess an overall power producing capacity of about 350 MW. Under the major MTDF (2011-14) initiatives for energy security, ADB-assisted Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Programme envisages Rs 11.9 billion investment on construction of five hydro-power projects at Marala (Sialkot), Chianwali (Gujranwala), Deg outfall (Sheikhupura), Pakpattan and Okara with overall capacity of 25 MW generating 160 GWh per annum; feasibility studies for prospective development of additional five hydro-power projects in Punjab, and capacity development of energy/power sector in the province. Sources claimed that against 48 hydel sites announced by PPDB, response was received for 10 sites. LOIs to the successful sponsors were issued in 2007 and 9 feasibility studies were completed in 2009. Upon determination of a viable tariff and its approval by Nepra, Letters of Support (LOS) has been issued by PPDB for two small-scale hydro-power projects over raw sites, whereas feasibility study for two solicited sites is under revision. Sources added that there are coal reserves of 186.560 billion tons in Sindh, 235 million tons in Punjab, 217 million tons in Balochistan, 90 million tons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 9 million tons is Azad Kashmir. The need of the hour is to exploit the potential of coal reserves to overcome power shortages, experts said. Advisor to Chief Minister of Punjab, Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa said that Federal Government has totally failed to overcome the crisis of energy prevailing in the country. Load shedding is badly affecting the people, as due to shut-down of industrial units a large number of labourers have been rendered jobless, he said, adding that the federal government has not taken any concrete steps for the solution of looming energy crisis. Talking to a delegation of MPAs here on Monday, he said that without wasting any moment, Punjab government has decided to play its effective role to reduce the load shedding by taking comprehensive steps to generate electricity from various sources, including hydel options. He said that the agreement of mega project of producing 120 megawatts electricity at Taunsa Barrage during the recent visit of Chief Minister Punjab to China was a great step to use indigenous resources. Keeping in view the energy vision of Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab government has allocated Rs 9 billion for energy projects during the fiscal year 2011-12. He said that Rs 1.36 billion has been earmarked for solar tube-wells so that rural economy could be saved from the curse of energy shortage.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Thar-Coal project to produce cheap electricity: Dr Samar

Renowned scientist Dr Samar Mubarkmand has said the country had third biggest coal reserves, which could be utilised for producing cheap electricity. Talking to Pakistan Television, he said that scientists were working on the Thar-Coal project to meet the growing demand of the electricity in the country. The estimated cost of the project is $115 million, he said. He said that 40 per cent electricity in the world is generated through coal. Dr Samar Mubarkmand said besides producing of cheaper electricity, 100 million barrel diesel and gas could be produced through Thar-coal, which would be sufficient for 30 years. Thar-coal field has enough reserves for 500 years, he said. He said that foreign countries had shown keen interest in the project. He hoped that after the success of the project, foreign companies would come forward for investing in this sector. Dr Samar said that the massive support of government was available to continue the project. He said that gasifires have been introduced which are being effective and result-oriented. It is the government's top priority to improve the energy sector, he said. There is a serious need to focus on utilising coal, which is available in the biggest quantity.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Asim assures support to Chinese investors

The Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources, Dr Asim Hussain has given strong assurance to Chinese investors for facilitating them to invest in energy sector projects in Pakistan. He said this while talking to a delegation of Orient Group of China headed by its Chairman Zhang Hongwei that called on him here on Friday. Dr Asim Hussain appreciated the interest of Orient Group for investing in energy sector projects in Pakistan particularly in the oil & gas sectors. He said that the government is looking forward to joint ventures with the Chinese companies and is specifically focusing on offshore projects for oil & gas exploration. Numerous on-going mutual projects are a proof of the cordial relationship between the two friendly countries of Pakistan and China. Chairman Orient Group thanked the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources for meeting them and especially expressed his satisfaction over the measures taken by the government for providing a facilitative investment environment to the Chinese companies.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Pakistani, Indian companies win green energy awards

Two Indian companies which recycle waste products into sources of power and a Pakistani firm that fits energy-saving devices in homes were on Thursday honoured with major green energy awards. They were three of the winners at this year's Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, one of the world's most prestigious green energy honours, each picking up £20,000 ($32,200, 22,800 euros) prize money at a London ceremony. The British awards, which started in 2001, aim to encourage the greater use of local clean energy and to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Ghanaian firm Toyola Energy Ltd won the top prize, the £40,000 Gold Award, for its success in making stoves that burn less charcoal than traditional models and that are accessible to low-income families. The Indian firms, Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd and Husk Power Systems, and Pakistani company, The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, were among four other international winners. "Our dream is a world where access to clean, affordable electricity and fuel can be enjoyed by the poor, transforming living standards, reducing CO2 emissions and easing the pressure on dwindling forests," said awards director Sarah Butler-Sloss.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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Malaysian firm wins $14 million power generation deal

Malaysian investors and businessmen have vast opportunities for investment in Pakistan's energy sector, given a massive gap between demand and supply with power shortage reaching 7000 mw at peak hours in the current summer. "Our system is falling short of meeting the demand, which comes as a good opportunity to overseas investors, especially those from Malaysia, to come and invest aggressively in this sector to help meet the growing energy needs of Pakistan," said the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Malaysia, Masood Khalid, while commenting upon an agreement reached here between Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) unit TNB Repair and Maintenance Sdn Bhd (TNB Remaco) and Pakistan's Laraib Energy, an offshoot of Hub Power Company, says a message received here from Malaysia on Wednesday. Under the agreement, TNB Remaco will provide services worth $14.1 million for the operation and maintenance of 84 mw New Bong Escape Hydroelectric Power Complex, being built at a cost of $235 million on the Jhelum River in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The services would be provided for an initial period of five years with an option of extending it for another seven years. The 15-month mobilisation period for the project is likely to commence in August this year. Under the project, TNB Remaco will extend technical personnel and skilled expertise to perform daily operations as well as routine maintenance of the complex. The new agreement is the second major collaboration between TNB Remaco and Hub Power Co, a key shareholder of Laraib Energy, following a similar agreement signed earlier for the operation and maintenance of 213.6 mw power plant in Punjab. Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the agreement would further augment TNB Remaco's reputation as a one-stop service provider for power-related works. He said the group aimed to increase its overseas' revenue contribution to 40 percent from 10 percent currently. Laraib Energy's chairman and Hub Power Co's chief executive officer Vince Harris said his company had so far invested some $235 million on the hydroelectric power plant in Azad Kashmir and it was well advanced in commercialisation. He said the 84 mw hydroelectric plant is a "major infrastructure project" and the TNB Remaco had been roped in view of its capability and expertise.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Master Water Plan of Thar Coal project: ECNEC asks Sindh government to arrange funds

Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has asked Sindh government to arrange funds for Master Water Plan of Thar Coal project through Public-private partnership (PPP), well-informed sources unveiled this to Business Recorder on Monday. Sindh Minister for finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Secretary Irrigation Khlaid Hyder Memon and Secretary Coal and Energy Aijaz Ali Khan had attended the meeting from Sindh. ECNEC has raised the question that who will provide funds for Master Water Plan of Thar Coal project? It has been suggested that Sindh government should arrange funds for the said scheme through Public-Private Partnership, sources said. Besides, ECNEC has decided to form a committee comprising Federal Minister for Finance Abdul Hafiz Shaikh, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, Sindh Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah and others. They said that the committee would meet very soon in Islamabad in order to resolve the issue of provision of funds for Master Water Plan of Thar coal, sources further said. The ECNEC has also asked the Sindh government representatives to submit the feasibility report of said project first then the PC-1 would be studied and decision would be made in this regard. The PC-1 of Master Water Plan of Thar coal was on the agenda of meeting which was made by Sindh Irrigation department but Irrigation department has not made feasibility report of the said scheme. According to sources, the PC-1 mentioned that Rs 29 billion have been required for the Master water plan scheme of Thar coal. After the ECNEC meeting, Irrigation department has assigned the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) for making the feasibility report of Master Water Plan of Thar Coal sources added. It is pertinent to mention here that according to master water plan, the water would be reached at Thar coal site through Makhi-farash (Lower Nara canal) which is about 200km away from Thar Coal site. This scribe has tried to get version of Secretary Irrigation Khalid Hyder Memon but he could not be reached despite several attempts.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Nine hydel projects: 'work to be undertaken within next five years'

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) will undertake work on nine hydel power projects with a capacity of generating more than 24,000 mega watts electricity during the next five years, while Diamer-Bhasha and Kurram Tangi Dam Projects are ready for construction. This was stated by Governor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Barrister Masood Kausar during a briefing here on Saturday. The governor, on a point, assured full security for Wapda consultants and contractors working on different projects Fata and directed to resolve all issues hindering progress of work on these projects. He particularly referred to Bara Dam project and said that it would have far reaching impact on the socio-economic condition of the entire area, both in the tribal and settled ones. He asked Nespak to complete detailed engineering design of Bara Dam project, so that it could be implemented at the earliest. Regarding provision of funds for Bara Dam project, he assured that the matter would be taken up with the federal government at appropriate level. Earlier, Chairman Wapda, Shakeel Durrani briefed the governor about the ongoing as well as planned projects including Bara Dam in Khyber Agency, Kurram Tangi Dam in North Waziristan Agency, Munda Dam in Mohmand Agency, Golen Gol Hydle Power Project in Chitral, Tank Zam and Daraban Zam Dams in D.I.Khan. He also presented an overview of the total current hydel stations operations, adding that the total installed capacity of 14 hydel stations in operation is 6,464MW while 1,405 MW was in process. The meeting was told that feasibility study of Bara Dam was completed in 2008 and the project, approved by ECNEC would cost above Rs 14 billion. Detailed engineering design and preparation of Tender documents were in progress. The project would be completed in five year's period and on completion, would make the existing irrigation system functional, create job opportunities, reduce flood damages and provide treated drinking water besides generating 4.8 MW power. With regard to Kurram Tangi Project, it was stated that the project, having 84 MW power generation capacities is ready for construction and would be completed in four years period with an estimated cost of Rs 59 billion. Regarding Munda Dam, the meeting was informed that work on its documentation is in progress, including short listing of consultants for detailed engineering design and preparation of tender documents. The design will be completed within two years with total construction period of seven years. Munda Dam, as stated, is a multi-purpose dam to boost agriculture, produce power up to 740 MW and mitigate flood damage in Peshawar and Nowshera valley. During the briefing, it was stated that nine projects with total capacity of 1628.76 MW are under execution including Gomal Zam Dam in Fata, Khan Khwar, Duber Khwar and Allai Khwar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Satpara Dam in Skardu and Jinnah Hydropower and Neelam Jhelum project besides repair and maintenance of Unit1, 3 and 4 of Tarbela Dam. Chairman Wapda, while briefing the governor, said that all out efforts would be made to fulfil the commitment of completion of dam projects. He informed that Wapda has planned to establish a good quality school in the vicinity of their projects and requested proper support in this regard. He also informed that Wapda would also upgrade the nearby hospitals for better health cover to the local people. These measures, he added, would help building confidence among the locals and also improve the socio-economic conditions of the respective areas. The meeting besides others was attended by the Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ghulam Dastagir Akhtar, Attaullah Khan Chief Executive FDA, Fazal Karim Khattak Additional Chief Secretary Fata and Sikandar Qayyum Secretary to Governor.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Germany provides over 200 million euros for Hydel projects

Germany has provided over 200 million euros for the construction of various small and medium size hydel projects and installation and rehabilitation of transmission lines in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa during 2009-10. We will provide another 48.5 million euros for the development of alternative energy and energy efficiency this year. This was stated by the Desk Officer for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development Torge Matthiesen, while addressing the members of visiting Pakistani delegation comprising of officials of Ministry of Water and Power and Finance and private sector people in renewable energy. He said that out of this amount, about 100 million euros are for small and medium size hydel projects in KPK including Lavi, Trapphi, Basho, Harpo, Kayal Khawar, while the rest is for laying transmission lines including Gakkhar and Gazi Road. He said that during 2009, five districts were selected in KPK for the promotion of off-grid projects including solar, wind, hydropower and biomass to provide electricity to the locals. Metthiesen pointed out that Germany will provide 48.5 million euros for many renewable energy and energy efficiency projects during 2011-21. Germany wants to promote renewable energy and encouraging energy efficiency in Pakistan, he added. He said that 12.5 million euros would be spent on off-grid renewable projects in next two years to meet the energy requirements of locals.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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MoU signed to promote energy efficiency, conservation plans

SME Leasing Limited, a subsidiary of SME Bank Limited, and SME Business Support Fund recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to facilitate co-operation between the parties for encouraging and promoting energy efficiency and conservation programmes in Pakistan. Both the parties have agreed to cooperate and facilitate each other for the development of SMEs in Pakistan by creating awareness and encouraging use of fuel efficient devices and equipment through agreed means. The agreement was signed by Syed Saquib Mohyuddin, Chief Executive Officer, and SME Business Support Fund and by Mrs Arjumand A. Qazi, Chief Executive Officer, SME Leasing Limited, in a meeting held at the Main Office of SME Leasing Limited in Karachi. SME Leasing Limited specialises in providing financial solutions to small and medium enterprises in Pakistan. The company has been a pioneer in the field and has assisted in establishing several SME5 from the start to bringing them to a sizeable and bankable entity. The company has been engaged in leasing of equipment with a view to promote the Governments' efforts to reduce energy wastage and increase productivity. SME Energy Efficiency (EE) and Energy Conservation (EC) Financial Solutions: Under the EE and EC financial solutions scheme SME Leasing is providing leasing facilities to SME5 to improve their productivity and reduce cost of doing business, while saving on fuel for the exchequer. The BSF programme will assist SME Leasing in identifying and researching on the industrial energy leakages and the equipment required to reduce the same, with the help of expert service providers. SME Business Support Fund (BSF) is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Finance and a non-profit organisation formed with the objectives of assisting SMEs as well as Business Development Services Providers for improving their competitiveness and to enhance the revenue generating capacity and profitability of emerging businesses. BSF Smart Energy Services in order to address the issue pertaining to Energy Efficiency, BSF has initiated the project BSF Smart Energy Services' with the agenda of energy usage efficiency, creating additional energy supply at source, and to reduce the total cost of production to make SME5 globally competitive through innovation and efficiency. BSF Smart Energy Services team is conducting preliminary survey of selected SMEs of Kot Lakhpat Industrial Estate in the pilot phase, which will be followed by the detailed energy audits. The results will then be utilised in developing detailed engineering services for sustainable energy solutions so that the set objectives of reducing the total cost of production and to make SMEs globally competitive can be successfully achieved.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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China proposes $15 billion Indus dam scheme: Financial Times

China's Three Gorges Project Corporation has proposed a $15 billion hydropower scheme to Pakistan to dam the Indus river valley at several points in a project aimed at controlling floods and tackling electricity shortages, reports Financial Times. Quoting Pakistan's Natural Resources and Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, the paper said that the deal, pitched by the builders of the Yangtze River dam, the world's largest, is the latest example of Chinese interest in Pakistan, as the latter tries to develop natural gas, oil, coal and hydropower resources to boost its flagging economy. The Minister told FT that Three Gorges had met with the government and proposed a $15 billion hydroelectric master plan for the Indus, and to fund a $50 million survey to lay the groundwork. Devastating floods last year highlighted the benefits of dams on the Indus. The country's electricity shortage and need for irrigation are also behind Pakistan's focus on hydroelectric power. Last year, Pakistan and China agreed to an investment deal to build the Bunji dam. The $15 billion proposal would cover Bunji and other sites on the upper and lower Indus, including Kohala and Dashu. Chinese companies have taken a lead on natural resources investment. In December 2010 BP sold its Pakistan oil and gas assets to United Energy Group, a Hong Kong-based investor, for $775 million. Metallurgical Corporation of China is mining copper, zinc and lead in Balochistan province. The Minister held meetings in London with potential investors in Pakistan's oil and gas sector, ahead of new round of oil block auctions. Recent growth in estimates of its natural gas reserves, composed mostly of unconventional shale and tight gas, has led Pakistan to seek investment from partners such as BP and Shell.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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98 percent population of Diamer getting electricity: Khan

Electricity is being provided to about 98 percent population of the district while the rest will also get the facility soon. Executive Engineer Water and Power, Sher Bahadur Khan said this while talking to APP on Wednesday. He said seven power projects were underway in the district and after the completion of these projects the load-shedding would be completely eliminated from the area. He assured that there would be no load-shedding in the district during the holy month of Ramazan. Currently, the department was producing 1,400KW electricity from Thor Power House, 600KW from Thak phase-II, and 100-KW from Batogah power house, he informed.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011

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Team leaves for Germany to explore alternate energy potential

An eight-member team left on Saturday for Germany on a 10-day visit to explore alternate energy potential on the invitation of Foreign Office of Germany. The delegation consists of 8 members. President National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) and Managing Editor Energy Update, Adil Anwer, CEO, Project Development Infrastructure Facility, GM Smeda, Allah Nawaz, Renewable Energy Society, Farhan Khan, Section Officer Ministry Water and Power, Government of Pakistan, Iqbal Kidwai, GM Smeda. The delegation will visit various companies of alternate energy, projects, Ministry of Environment and attend grand exhibition Inter Solar in Munich during visit in Berlin and Bonn. German government has arranged various meetings and reception scheduled for the delegation. The main objective of the visit to promote alternate energy in Pakistan through German technology and technical support.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Rs 920 million allocated for Karachi nuclear power plant study, design

To enhance the nuclear power share in energy mix of the country, the government has earmarked Rs 920 million in money bill 2011-12 for a joint pre-project feasibility and design study of a much awaited 1000 MW Nuclear Power Plant for Karachi. The PPP-led coalition government is holding up work on finalisation of plan to construct this new 1,000MW nuclear power plant in Karachi, preferring instead to focus on other nuclear projects of less capacity. The new power plant is proposed to be built at the site of the current Kanupp plant, near Paradise Point, in Karachi. The government seems serious in resolving the frequent power failure facing by Karachities by putting another Rs 100 million for improving the KANUPP's long term operation capacity. Another Rs 70 billion has been allocated for fuel dry storage capacity for power plant. The Kanupp was originally commissioned in 1972. After a life extension of the project was carried out between 2002 and 2004 and again in 2006, the plant got an extra 15 years of operational life. The total cost of these three schemes is Rs 2.8 billion but initially government has allocated Rs 1.0 billion in this respect. Additionally, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has also allocated another Rs 20 billion to be spent on the Commission's on- going schemes. It has been learnt that the decision to focus on the Chashma plants were taken as the Chinese agency involved in the project is already working at Chashma, and would have to be moved to work on the Kanupp-II project and then moved back to work on Chashma III and IV. In budget 2011-12, Chashma Nuclear Power Project (C3 & C4) have been allocated Rs 15.5 billion. The total cost of the project is Rs 190 billion including foreign component of Rs 135 billion. Till June 2011, only Rs 29 billion was spent and Rs 160 billion has been throw-forward. For Chashma Nuclear Project C-II Mianwali Rs 2.5 billion has been allocated. The total cost of the project is Rs 51 billion. Out of total amount, Rs 49 billion will be spent till June 2011.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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Government spends Rs 500 billion on power sector

Finance Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Thursday that the government spent Rs 500 billion on the power sector during the outgoing financial year mainly to improve power generation and lower the burden on the poor. Addressing a press conference at the Economic Survey 2010-11 launching ceremony, he said that circular debt has reached Rs 120 billion and if the government clears this amount, the projected fiscal deficit of 5.1 percent will skyrocket to 5.7 percent of the GDP. According to the Economic Survey, the circular debt represents inefficiency in electricity sector that increased 1.5 times compared to last year. Due to high energy prices, a shift from expensive imported fuel (oil) to indigenously available alternative fuel (gas) was witnessed, creating a massive gap between demand and supply of gas. This, in turn, compelled the government to tackle the shortage with gas load management strategy along with increase in prices. On average electricity consumption increased at the rate of 5.2 per cent per annum during the period 2001-02 to 2009-10. Overall electricity generation increased by 2.8 percent during July-March 2010-11 against the comparable period March 2010-11. According to the Economic Survey, the modest increase in consumption of electricity indicated some revival in economic activities. The increase mainly emanates from industrial sector where an increase of 7.3 percent has been witnessed. With the exception of agriculture and street lighting sector, the remaining sectors witnessed a positive growth during July-March 2010-11. The electricity sector remained plagued with inter-corporate circular debt, which restricted growth in the power sector as a whole and impacted negatively on the oil and gas sector to some extent. Entities in the energy sector were subjected to Rs 258.5 billion inter-circular debt till April 2011 compared to Rs 103.9 billion in April 2009 indicating an increase of 147 percent. Receivables amounted to Rs 775.2 billion and payables stood at Rs 516.7 billion. Out of Rs 258.5 billion, net receivables of PSO were Rs 51 billion, SSGCL Rs 7.1 billion, Pepco Rs 2.7 billion, OGDCL Rs 115.5 billion, Pepco Rs 37.5 billion, KESC Rs 27.5 billion, GHPL Rs 9.6 billion and PPL Rs 22.2 billion respectively. Pakistan's total energy consumption stood at 63.1 million tons of oil equivalent in 2009-10. The energy mix comprised of gas, oil, electricity, coal and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with different share levels. The share of gas consumption stood at 43.9 percent in total energy mix of country followed by oil (27.9 percent), electricity (15.6 percent), coal (11 percent) and LGP (1.5 percent). This energy consumption mix witnessed a significant transformation since 2004-05. The sectoral consumption of gas indicated that the commercial, cement, fertiliser, power and industrial sectors have experienced decline in consumption of gas during July-March 2010-11 against the same period of last year. Only two sectors, household and transport posted positive growth in gas consumption. Gas consumption in the transport sector increased by 14.3 percent, mainly due to a shift from imported fuel oil to relatively cheaper source of gas during July-March 2010-11; this was followed by the household sector with almost negligible growth rate of 0.75 percent. The cement sector has shown major decline of 64.7 percent mainly because of the fact that it has almost switched over to coal fire system for its production activities. Gas consumption in industrial, commercial and fertiliser sectors declined by 9.2, 5.0 and 2.7 percent respectively during the first nine months of the current fiscal year; whereas power sector consumption decreased marginally by 0.2 percent during the period under review. Pakistan has huge coal resources estimated at over 185 billion tones, including 175 billion tons identified at Thar coal fields in Sindh province. Pakistan's coal generally ranks from lignite to sub-bituminous. About 56.5 percent of total coal in the country was consumed by the brick kilns industry whereas 42.7 percent by cement industry during the period July-March 2010-11. The coal consumption shares of brick kilns decreased by 2.4 percent and that of cement industry increased by 3.1 percent. The percentage share of power sector declined by 1.24 percent during July-March 2010-11 compared with the same period last year. The primary energy supply increased by 1.9 percent during July-March 2010-11 as compared to corresponding period last year. The per capita availability of energy remained the same during the period under review. Analysis of the composition of energy supplies to the country suggests that supply of coal during 2001-02 to 2009-10 grew by an average rate of 9.3 percent per annum followed by gas, electricity, crude oil and petroleum products with per annum growth rates of 6.3 percent, 3.5 percent, 2.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. Supplies of coal and electricity increased by 11.3 and 8.3 percent, respectively, whereas, the supply of gas showed a slight increase of 0.1 percent during the period under review. The remaining components experienced a decline in their supplies during July-March 2010-11 over the corresponding period last year The balance recoverable reserves of crude oil in the country have been estimated at 280.647 million barrels. The average crude oil production per day has increased to 65,996.50 barrels during July-March 2010-11 from 65245.69 barrels per day during the same period last year. The overall production has increased to 18.08 million barrels during July-March 2010-11 from 17.88 million barrels during the corresponding period last year showing an increase of 1.15 percent. During the period under review, 34,762 (53 percent) barrels per day were produced in northern region and 31,234 (47 percent) barrels per day in southern region, as against 27,659 (42 percent) barrels and 37,586 (58 percent) barrels produced per day in North and South region respectively compared with the same period last year. During July- March 2010-11, production of crude oil increased by 25.68 percent from northern region whereas production decreased in southern region by 16.90 percent, as compared to same period last year. The importance of natural gas to the country has been increasing rapidly. Government is making efforts towards enhancing gas production in order to meet the increasing demand of energy in the country. The balance recoverable natural gas reserves have been estimated at 26.62 Trillion Cubic Feet. The average production of natural gas per day stood at 4050.84 million cubic feet during July-March 2010-11, as compared to 4,048.76 million cubic feet over the same period last year. The overall production of gas increased to 1,109,930.16 million cubic feet during July-March 2010-11 as compared to 1,109,360.24 million cubic feet in the same period last year, showing an increase of 0.05 percent. Natural gas is used in general industry to prepare consumer items, to produce cement and to generate electricity. In the form of compressed natural gas (CNG), it is used in transport sector and most importantly to manufacture fertiliser to boost the agriculture sector. Currently twenty-eight (28) private and public sector companies are engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) contributes about 0.6 percent of the country's total primary energy supply mix. The main objective to enhance the use of LPG is to stop deforestation in the areas where the supply of natural gas is technically not viable. As a result of the government's policies, LPG supplies have been increasing over the past few years. The LPG marketing companies have imported around 55826.4 MT of LPG during July- March 2010-11 against 406975 MT of LPG during July-March 2009-10 In an effort to reduce dependency on expensive imported fuels as well as to improve the environment the use of CNG in vehicles has been encouraged. Currently Pakistan is the largest CNG using country. Due to existing price differential between CNG and petrol, consumers prefer to convert their vehicles to CNG. Presently, there are 3,329 CNG stations operating throughout the country. By March 2011 about 2.5 million vehicles had been converted to CNG. In addition, the government's policy of de-dieselization is being actively pursued with the provincial governments, as this policy is being implemented by them to achieve import substitution. For instance, the diesel operated intra-city urban public transport is being phased out in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore Faisalabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad/Rawalpindi. The government is encouraging LNG import by the private sector. Accordingly, Pakistan Mashal LNG Project (PMLP) was conceived to cater to the energy needs of the country as envisioned in the 25-year National Energy Security Plan. PMLP is to be set-up on integrated basis whereby a private sector project developer will manage the entire supply chain including procurement and shipping of 3.5 million tons per annum LNG, construction and operation of an onshore LNG receiving terminal, and delivery of 500 mmcfd re-gasified LNG to the SSGC's system in Karachi. The process for appointment of consultant for re-tendering of the Mashal Project would be initiated shortly through open international tendering and the process may take up to 6 months. Project's schedule and other details would be finalised after appointment of consultant and decisions regarding commercial structure of the project, terminal type, terminal location and SSGC's role will be finalised soon. During July-March 2010-11, a total of 30 wells were drilled, including 13 wells in the public sector and 17 in the private sector. Exploratory wells witnessed a negative growth, whereas the development wells posted a positive growth in the public sector during the period under consideration. Total investment of $810 million has been made during July-March 2010-11 in the upstream petroleum sector.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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PCRET's role in promotion of renewable energy

Please refer to a news item published in Business Recorder dated May 26, 2011 titled as "KESC's bio gas energy project," in which endeavours of Highmark Renewables and KESC to initiate the world's largest project of bio gas energy at Karachi have been highlighted. We would like to laud the initiative, which will not only be the biggest such venture in the world in the bio gas sector but will stop environmental pollution on a massive scale, produce organic fertiliser to replenish the soil complementing chemical fertiliser usage to promote Agriculture productivity and lastly produce much needed electricity. The firm is projecting it as primarily a CSR initiative. While commending the effort we would also like to offer a clarification regarding 'technology' availability for renewable energy in Pakistan since the news item referred to also mention that wind and solar energy cannot be tapped as there are 'technological issues involved and all equipment is required to be imported.' In this context it is informed that Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), under the umbrella of Ministry of Science and Technology, has conducted substantive research and development (R&D) in the arenas of solar, wind, bio gas and micro-hydel technologies. PCRET has the facility to manufacture 'solar cell' right from basic raw material & has demonstrated that after production begins on mass scale the cost will fall substantially to bring these products within reach of the common man. It has developed, both solar thermal and solar cell technology and products like 'solar powered submersible pumps' 'solar stoves,' solar panels that can be used to power tube-wells, sewing machines, cell phones etc. These could be purchased off the shelf and installed in homes after purchase. PCRET has offered 'free' access to its research and technology to any party for production and commercial sale of products in the country. SME bank and other Bank have been requested to consider developing leasing products allowing purchase in multiple small payments of 'wind mills,' 'solar panels' 'zero head electricity generating turbines' with 15 to 25 years performance guarantee after purchase and consequently so many years of free electricity after a one time purchase to generate consumer demand. Specially, designed long life battery charged by solar cells is also under consideration for large scale commercial production to make durable easy to maintain solar energy products. Use of these renewable energy products albeit at a substantial scale would shift many users off-grid and spare so much of electricity/gas on grid for diversion to the manufacturing sector. The well to do also consume more electricity therefore, the products till they come within the reach of the less well to do with economies of scale coming into play would have an impact on traditional electricity consumption. Access to Central Asian gas reserves sans dramatic improvement on the western borders is fraught with ever-present danger of sabotage by disgruntled spoilers and a mirage compared to capturing solar and wind energy from our immediate surroundings. Hence private sector entities looking for first mover advantage for local manufacture of solar/wind/bio-gas ready to use products for manufacture may contact PCRET as it is offering this technology 'free' along with product designs with specs that are made for off the shelf local use.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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